“Traditional journals have activated various emergency protocols to speed things up during the outbreak—faster publication cycles and dropped paywalls, primarily. Teams of scientists around the world are bypassing them anyway, communicating not only their early-days conclusions but also their methods and approaches. Researchers say this time the speed and sheer number of preprints has been unprecedented.
That’s good! Because it makes science faster and better, and it’s helping life scientists join other fields in embracing a new mode. But it’s also a little scary. Scientists aren’t the only ones who can download a preprint. That opens up the work to possible misunderstanding or misinterpretation….
It helps, too, that biomedical journals have gotten a lot clearer about their willingness to publish, after traditional review, articles that have already been out in the world via preprint servers. That wasn’t always the case….”