Preprint ban in grant applications deemed ‘plain ludicrous’

“Australia’s major research funder has ruled more than 20 fellowship applications ineligible because they mentioned preprints and other non-peer reviewed materials, sparking an outcry from scientists who say the move is a blow to open science and will stymie careers.

At a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has brought the use of preprints to the fore, researchers say the stance by the Australian Research Council (ARC) — which limits applicants’ ability to refer to the latest research — is out of step with modern publishing practices and at odds with overseas funding agencies that allow or encourage the use of preprints.

In the past week, researchers have taken to Twitter in outrage, calling the blanket ruling “short sighted”, “plain ludicrous”, “cruel”, “astonishing”, “outdated” and “gut-wrenching”….”

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