With COVID-19, waiting out for publications by researchers is not an option, so there has been a sudden rise in preprint posting, particularly in disciplines like biomedical, social, and life sciences, with almost 50% of their preprint servers going to med-Rix, SSRN, and Research Square. Editor in Chief of Research Square, Michele Avissar believes that the preprint pandemic phenomenon has proved that early research broadcast can be beneficial (accelerate vaccine development), it can also increase the risk of spreading misinformation, unexamined manuscripts, and false science. It can change the very definition of the “new normal” of posting and monitoring preprint quality.
In a study published in Scholastics, a scholarly journal publishing platform. The role of preprints in Journal Publishing was discussed, which focused on the work of Rob Johnson and Andrea Chiarelli the publishing consultants. They debated how the conventional publishing methods could be impeded by the “second wave” of preprint servers thumping academia. arXiv (a research-sharing platform open to anyone), helped physics and mathematics with escalating preprints in the 20thcentury, now has servers for biology and social sciences, for broadcasting work of scholars.
Many journals are now devising new models to scrutinize and review preprints. Preprints have been accepted in disciplines like physics, mathematics, economics, and law, but it is fairly new to health sciences and came into consideration during the times like Zika epidemics and COVID-19 to accelerate the circulation of time-critical research. In the year 2015, a “statement on data sharing in public health emergencies” was released by 57 journal signatories, calling for discoveries about zika and future public health catastrophes to be made publicly available, opening the gateway for establishing preprint policies beyond emergency circumstances. President of informed strategies, Judy Luther discussed that when Crossref in the year 2016 advertised a new schema of registering preprint DOI’s (Digital Object Identifiers), it assisted publishers to discriminate preprints from published articles and to make them permanently accessible. Springer Nature, in collaboration with Research Square, has enabled authors to post their research in the Research Square preprint server after submission to journals, which after peer preview and acceptance are linked to the version of record.
Overlay journals are peer-review, Open Access publications, digital journals that publish articles on preprint server instead of the journal website. Once submitted, editors vet submissions, collaborate with peer-reviewer to ascertain suitability for publication, and publish the final version on a preprint server, with a DOI. The aim of the supporters of such journals is to accelerate the dissemination of research while keeping the cost low.Some pronounced overlay journal includes Discrete Analysis (mathematics journal), It gives its readers a journal browsing experience by delegating separate webpage along with images for each article while using arXiv for publishing.
MIT Press launched Rapid Review: COVID-19 (RR:C19), an OA overlay journal for peer-reviewing of preprints, related to coronavirus along with different disciplines. It allows scholars and the public to keep track of favorable and controversial findings in digital preprints. Lawrence Livermore Labs have developed an artificial intelligence tool by the name of COVIDScholar, to screen thousands of COVID-19 related preprints on RR:C19 and identify the contentious and original papers for early review. It createsa pipeline for automatic information availability for preprint reviews.
It is incontrovertible that preprints will be enduring, but its conform among scholarly publishing model is still to be set. The preprint peer review models like Discrete Analysis, RR:C19 are linking preprints with publishers. The words of Judy Luther seem true now “the stars may indeed be aligning for preprint”
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