PLOS and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Enter Agreement to Enable Preprint Posting on bioRxiv

Editor’s Note: This press release also appears on the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Newsstand.

Public Library of Science (PLOS) and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) announce an agreement that enables the automatic posting of research articles submitted to PLOS journals on bioRxiv, CSHL’s preprint server for the life sciences. This collaboration between bioRxiv and PLOS empowers authors to share their work on a trusted platform before peer review, accelerating the pace of biomedical research.

Continue reading “PLOS and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Enter Agreement to Enable Preprint Posting on bioRxiv”

Preprint QC

By Bernd Pulverer, EMBO As preprint posting takes hold in the biosciences community, we need both quality control and curation to ensure we share results in a reproducible and discoverable manner.

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Meeting report: summary of day 1 of the 2018 European ISMPP Meeting

The 2018 European Meeting of the International Society for Medical Publication Professionals (ISMPP) was held in London on 23–24 January and attracted nearly 300 delegates; the highest number of attendees to date. The meeting’s theme was ‘Advancing Medical Publications in a Complex Evidence Ecosystem’ and the agenda centred around data transparency, patient centricity and the future of medical publishing. Delegates were treated to two keynote addresses, lively panel discussions, interactive roundtables and parallel sessions, and also had the chance to present their own research in a poster session. Continue reading “Meeting report: summary of day 1 of the 2018 European ISMPP Meeting”

Preprint Journal Clubs: building a community of PREreviewers

By Samantha Hindle and Daniela Saderi, PREreview The image above (DOI)  is CC-BY 4.0 licensed and is available for download on Figshare.

Preprints are freely available scientific manuscripts that have not yet undergone editorial peer review. They provide data and knowledge that is current, accessible by all, and at a stage where community peer review can contribute to scientific progression. Rather than restricting feedback to two or three journal-selected reviewers, preprints can be read and evaluated by a diverse population of interested scientists at different career stages. Theoretically, the advantages of opening up scientific evaluation to a larger pool of scientists should be straightforward: the more reviewers, the fewer mistakes – or to quote Linus’ Law, “Given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow.” Practically speaking, this can be more complicated as scientists have limited free time, are not well-incentivized for their reviewing activities, and some may argue that “too many cooks spoil the broth.”

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F1000: our experiences with preprints followed by formal post-publication peer review

By Rebecca Lawrence & Vitek Tracz, F1000, We have been successfully running a service (which we call platforms, to distinguish from traditional research journals), for over 5 years at F1000 that is essentially a preprint coupled with formal, invited (i.e. not crowd-sourced) post publication peer review. We have consequently amassed significant experience of running […]

Peer Feedback

By Ron Vale, Tony Hyman, and Jessica Polka Summary We propose the creation of a scientist-driven, journal-agnostic peer review service that produces an “Evaluated Preprint” and facilitates subsequent publication in a journal. Introduction Scientists have a love-hate relationship with peer review. Sadly, this relationship has been drifting towards the latter over time. Much of the […]

Six essential reads on peer review

In preparation for our meeting on Transparency, Recognition, and Innovation in Peer Review in the Life Sciences on February 7-9 at HHMI Headquarters, we’ve collected some recent (and not-so-recent) literature on journal peer review. A full annotated bibliography can be found at the bottom of this post, and we invite any additions via comments. To […]

Who Truly Benefits From Pre-Publishing and Rushing Publishing?

“…who will benefit from the release of such data earlier? Neither the general public nor the practicing clinician will benefit, as they may be confused by potentially conflicting data and recommendations, if unreviewed manuscripts are equally as discoverable as peer-reviewed papers. Thus, I would propose that manuscript authors are the only ones who may benefit from the process. They can promote their “publication” on social media and within their departments, but these manuscripts should not maintain the same level of credibility as peer-reviewed papers. Maybe, the medical community could all benefit from a little patience.”


Medical Preprints—A Debate Worth Having

David M. Maslove. Medical Preprints—A Debate Worth Having. JAMA. Published online November 30, 2017. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.17566

“Ultimately the key question is what is the problem preprints are aiming to address? Traditional peer review may well be less expedient than posting a preprint. But the latter could lead to wide dissemination of inaccurate and potentially harmful clinical and public health information and to researchers pursuing hypotheses that are subsequently found to lack proper grounding, thereby erasing any gains made from the rapid dissemination of results. Accelerating the pace of medical research is a worthwhile goal. The larger question is how to achieve this efficiently, and with the necessary safeguards in place. At the very least, the debate over medical preprints is one worth having.”

BioRxiv and Authorea Partner to Streamline Preprint Submission


Science communication is very important. As researchers increasingly forge global collaborations in biological research, the scientific community will need more collaborative tools. To meet that need, Authorea developed a collaborative document editor service. It helps collaborators edit shared documents. Furthermore, it facilitates the process of archiving preprints or publication-ready manuscripts (not peer reviewed) and submitting  … Read more

Your Preprint Questions, Answered


“Early bird” by Katy Warner is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

Last year, we noted that preprints were “having a moment.” Since that time, a number of new discipline-specific preprint servers have launched (PsyArXiv, LawArXiv, and engrXiv), and more are on the way (Chemrxiv, PaleorXiv, and SportRxiv, to name a few). In addition, funding organizations, such as the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, have begun to provide financial support for preprint servers. Still doubt the rising popularity of preprints? There’s even a new app for rating preprints in the life sciences called Papr, which calls itself “Tinder for preprints.”

Are you thinking of posting a preprint? Here are some things you might be wondering about:

What exactly is a preprint?

A preprint is usually defined as a piece of scholarship that has not been peer reviewed or formally published. Many preprints do go on to be published in academic journals. One 2013 study, for example, found that 64% of the work that is posted in arXiv has been published in academic journals. However, there is also small group of scholars who have begun posting what they call “final version preprints.”

Why should I post a preprint of my work?

Posting a preprint allows you to get your research out into the world quickly and easily. That’s good for the advancement of knowledge, but it’s also good because it enables you to position yourself as the originator of a certain claim or technique, even before your article is formally published. Posting a preprint is also a great way to get feedback on your work from others, and make your scholarship even better.

Can I still submit my manuscript to a journal if I previously posted it on a preprint server?

In most cases, yes. A growing number of journals welcome manuscript submissions that first appeared as preprints. BioRxiv, for example, has a manuscript transfer process which makes it easy for researchers to submit their preprint to over 120 scholarly journals. That having been said, there are still a few journals that consider the posting of preprints to be “prior publication.” Make sure to read the policies of the journal you are interested in submitting to. Wikipedia also has a list preprint policies by journal.

How will people find my preprint?

Many preprint servers assign DOIs (digital object identifiers) to preprints, which make them easier to discover (although the popular arXiv does not). In addition, a number of preprint servers are indexed by Google Scholar. Nevertheless, if you want people to read your preprint, you should be prepared to do your own promotion. Use social media to draw attention to your work.

How should I license my preprint?

As the author, you automatically own the copyright to your work. However, adding a Creative Commons (CC) license tells people how your preprint can be reused. Some preprint servers require a CC license for any work that is posted. Others, such as SSRN or Humanities Commons CORE, do not. We recommend adding a CC license to all preprints you post.

Can I cite a preprint?

Yes. If you have evaluated a preprint and find it to useful to your research, definitely go ahead and cite it. Just make sure to note in your citation that it is a preprint. Also make sure you are citing the version that you actually used. One caveat: there are a few journals that do not allow researchers to cite preprints, although this policy seems to be changing. If you are unsure, ask your editor. Writing a grant application? The NIH recently announced that investigators are free to cite their own preprints in research proposals or projects reports.

Have another question about preprints that we didn’t answer? Let us know in the comments.

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