Preprints Involving Medical Research—Do the Benefits Outweigh the Challenges? | Medical Journals and Publishing | JAMA | JAMA Network
peter.suber's bookmarks 2022-01-30
"In this issue of JAMA, Malički and colleagues5 report a cross-sectional analysis of 57 of the largest open (not funder-associated) preprint servers and identified 10 that have posted more than 500 preprints in the health sciences. The authors analyzed the policies of preprint servers that included screening before posting, submission requirements, and 18 recommendations on transparency in reporting and research integrity (eg, data sharing; addressing plagiarism, image manipulation, and correcting errors; reporting conflicts of interest, funding, and ethics approval; and guidance on authorship and reporting). Most preprint servers in the study (82%; n = 47) had some form of, albeit minimal, screening. Of the submission requirements, all servers required a specification of the scholarly scope of preprints and 54% (n = 31) required an indication of the type of study permitted. Regarding the assessment of transparency in reporting and research integrity recommendations, more servers that post preprints in the health sciences (40%-60%), compared with all servers (16%-39%), had recommendations about data sharing; plagiarism and correcting errors; and reporting conflicts of interest, funding, and ethics approval. However, very few of any preprint servers provided guidance on authorship (14%; n = 8), image manipulation (4%; n = 2), and reporting study statistics (n = 0) or study limitations (4%; n = 2) or following recommendations of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (9%; n = 5) or the Committee on Publication Ethics (4%; n = 2).
Also in this issue, Krumholz and coauthor-founders of the medRxiv preprint server6 reviewed content on the server and trends 1 year after it was launched in June 2019. The founders of medRxiv met with several members of the JAMA editorial staff before launching the site to solicit feedback, and many of the issues raised in that meeting were ultimately addressed by medRxiv. Krumholz et al report the posting rate of submissions after passing screening criteria, which include the following: “the manuscript is a full scientific research report (not a narrative review, commentary, or case report); the absence of obscenity, plagiarism, or patient identifiers; and confirmation by an affiliate (a member of the scientific community who voluntary screens submissions) that posting would not pose potential risk to patients or public health.”6 ..."