Are preprints paving the way to science in real time? | Jisc scholarly communications
peter.suber's bookmarks 2019-05-22
"Knowledge Exchange has been investigating this fast-changing and exciting landscape since 2018 and asked Research Consulting to conduct a study on the status and impact of preprints. KE has recently released a slide deck summarising the results of the first stage of the work. This involved an initial literature review, followed by 38 interviews with research funders, research performing organisations, preprint servers, other service providers and researchers. In this post, I will take you through some of the key findings and will highlight what will happen next. ...
Our five take-aways on preprints
- Twitter is playing a key enabling role in the diffusion of preprints. Even though preprints are nothing new, technology is enabling new ways to leverage this growing approach to scholarly communication. Today, people are often exposed to preprints thanks to Twitter, which is also useful for their discovery and to provide feedback to authors.
- A one-size-fits-all solution that works for all disciplines is not likely to be achievable at present: preprints exist in a complex environment, due to the wide range of technical approaches, business models, roles and responsibilities, disciplinary customs and more.
- Who should be responsible for posting preprints – researchers or publishers? This question hints at the models underpinning preprint servers, as these are usually either standalone (e.g. not-for-profit, grant-funded) or publisher-backed. Standalone preprint servers would tend to rely on researchers posting preprints themselves (i.e. they require a high level of engagement), while a publisher-centric approach simplifies workflows but feeds into the concerns around market consolidation in the academic publishing landscape.
- Some researchers are worried that journals may reject their submissions if a preprint has been posted previously: this is a key obstacle to the uptake of preprint servers. Information is often available on publisher websites and on Wikipedia, but the concern remains widespread in practice.
- Suitable business models will have to be developed if preprints are to succeed in the long term. In this process, it will be important to assess the opportunity cost of preprint servers and all related workflows (including long-term preservation): could the same funds be spent differently and have a better impact on open science and scholarly communication? ..."