Are preprints the future of biology? A survival guide for scientists | Science | AAAS
peter.suber's bookmarks 2019-05-12
"Posting that first-draft manuscript, or preprint, "clearly expedited and helped with my job search," Slavov says. And he thinks the half-dozen preprints he's posted since have helped turbocharge his career. Science journalists have covered his work, colleagues have proposed collaborations, and journal editors have invited him to submit papers.
Slavov represents the promise of a movement that is sweeping across the life sciences. Although physicists have been posting preprints for nearly 3 decades, many biologists have only just begun to widely share their unreviewed papers. The shift has been catalyzed, in part, by endorsements of preprint publishing from high-profile scientists, as well as the 2013 launch of the nonprofit bioRxiv by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) in New York; bioRxiv now holds more than 15,000 papers. But in contrast to physics, where preprints took off without much fanfare or controversy, the leap into preprints is stirring strong passions in the hyper-competitive world of the life sciences.
Proponents of biology preprints argue they will accelerate the pace of science—and improve its quality—by publicizing findings long before they reach journals, helping researchers get rapid feedback on their work, and giving a leg up to young researchers who don't yet have many publications. Some see little difference between posting a preprint and presenting unpublished findings at a meeting, except that the preprint audience can be far larger...."