Comparing quality of reporting between preprints and peer-reviewed articles – a crowdsourced initiative

By Olavo B. Amaral Institute of Medical Biochemistry, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil As the preprint movement gains traction in biology, the time is ripe to revisit some aspects of scientific publication that we view as fundamental – first and foremost of which is the peer review process itself. Common concerns about preprints…

Read more

ASAPbio newsletter vol 12 – peer review meeting summary, preprint survey, and collecting commenting venues

Dear subscribers, This month, we summarize a recent meeting on peer review and present two requests: Support for open reports (signed or not): summary of the HHMI/Wellcome/ASAPbio Peer Review meeting On February 7-9, 2018, a group of approximately 90 junior and senior scientists, publishers, editors, and funders convened at HHMI Headquarters in Chevy Chase, MD…

Read more

How to launch a transformative and sustainable forum for publication and scholarly critiques of research in the life sciences?

By Harinder Singh Director, Division of Immunobiology and the Center for Systems Immunology Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center This perspective is a result of the various insightful commentaries that have been posted on the ASAPbio site in the context of the HHMI/Wellcome/ASAPbio meeting on “Transparency, Recognition and Innovation in Peer Review in the Life Sciences.”…

Read more

New Forum for Peer Reviewed Research in the Biomedical Sciences

By Harinder Singh, Division of Immunobiology and the Center for Systems Immunology, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center Motivation Although major research advances are rapidly being made in the biological and biomedical sciences, the communication of these findings is hampered by existing publication forums. Despite the large and expanding number of journals, there are considerable limitations,…

Read more

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

By Rebecca Lawrence & Vitek Tracz, F1000, rebecca.lawrence@f1000.com 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…

Read more

Peer review as practised at Wellcome Open Research: analysis of Year 1

By Robert Kiley, Head of Open Research, Wellcome Introduction In November 2016 Wellcome became the first research funder to launch a publishing platform for the exclusive use of its grantholders. Wellcome Open Research (WOR), run on behalf of Wellcome by Faculty of 1000 (F1000), uses a model of immediate publication followed by invited, post-publication peer…

Read more

APPRAISE (A Post-Publication Review and Assessment In Science Experiment)

By Michael B. Eisen Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology, UC Berkeley mbeisen@gmail.com, @mbeisen With the rapid growth of bioRxiv, biomedical research is entering a new era in which papers describing our ideas, experiments, data and discoveries are made available to our colleagues and the public without having undergone peer…

Read more

Opening up peer review

By Dr. Stuart Taylor, Publishing Director, The Royal Society, London, UK Peer review has been a key part of the research communication system for centuries. Scientists absolutely depend on a research literature that is as reliable, reproducible and trustworthy as possible in order to inform their future work and to help explain other findings. Subjecting…

Read more

ASAPbio newsletter vol 11 – Peer review meeting, peer review service proposal, welcome new board members

Dear subscribers, Hope 2018 is off to a great start for you! We have a few exciting announcements: Save the date: Transparency, Recognition, and Innovation in Peer Review in the Life Sciences On February 7-8, tune in to asapbio.org/peer-review to watch a webcast of a meeting we’re co-hosting with HHMI and Wellcome Trust on how…

Read more

In Defence of Peer Review

By Tony Hyman and Ron Vale Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Dresden Germany (hyman@mpi-cbg.de) and the University of California, San Francisco, United States  (ron.vale@ucsf.edu) Rapid changes in communication technology have led to sea changes in publication. The days when John Maddox (1) joined Nature and found submitted manuscripts sitting in piles…

Read more

Should reviewers be expected to review supporting datasets and code?

by John Helliwell, Emeritus Professor of Chemistry University of Manchester and DSc Physics University of York (@HelliwellJohn) Introduction For the meeting entitled “Transparency, Reward, and Innovation in Peer Review in the Life Sciences” to be held on Feb. 7-9, 2018 at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Chevy Chase, Maryland (http://asapbio.org/peer-review) I have been asked by…

Read more

New directions for ASAPbio: outcomes of the July 19 workshop

On July 19, preprint service providers, funders, and researchers gathered in Cambridge, MA and via videoconference for a live-streamed ASAPbio workshop about the evolving preprint ecosystem (see video recording and collaborative notes). The goal of the meeting was to assess outstanding needs in light of recent developments, including CZI’s partnership with bioRxiv. At the meeting,…

Read more

ASAPbio newsletter vol 10 – Meeting on 7/19, licensing task force

Dear subscribers, The preprint ecosystem is growing rapidly. The CZI/bioRxiv partnership will fuel the expansion of the leading preprint server in the life sciences, and many other servers and platforms with varying degrees of disciplinary overlap exist or are planned (arXiv, PeerJ Preprints, preprints.org, OSF Preprints, ChemRxiv, SSRN, SciELO, PsyArxiv, EngArXiv, SocArXiv, Authorea, F1000Research, etc).…

Read more

New developments and plans for the Central Service RFA and Governing Body

Funding agencies are crucial to the development of the preprint movement. The adoption of preprints by the life sciences community has been accelerated by grant-making policies that recognize these manuscripts as a valid form of scholarly communication. Investments in preprint infrastructure, services, and technologies are thus necessary to build capacity for growth. The latest strong support…

Read more

Requesting your feedback: how should life scientists set standards for preprints?

May 10, 2017 update: ASAPbio has announced a four-month suspension of the RFA process to reassess the preprint ecosystem and community needs.  Preprints (scientific manuscripts that have been posted prior to completion of peer review) allow for the direct exchange of knowledge between scientists. They constitute a global public good that promotes scientific progress. However,…

Read more

ASAPbio newsletter vol 9 – NIH encourages the use of preprints, Central Service update, ASAPbio on Twitter

Dear subscribers, It’s been a big month for preprints! NIH encourages preprints On March 24, the world’s largest biomedical research agency released a landmark policy on preprints and other interim research products. The notice states that “The NIH encourages investigators to use interim research products, such as preprints, to speed the dissemination and enhance the…

Read more

ASAPbio newsletter vol 8 – Scientific Society engagement, a new grant, ASAPbio retrospective

Dear subscribers, Last month, we held a Town Hall meeting for Scientific Societies at NAS in Washington, DC. The meeting featured presentations by representatives of ASAPbio, NIH, and scientific societies who are innovating with preprints and publishing. More information and a video recording of the meeting is available online. At the meeting, Neil Thakur of…

Read more

RFA questions

When questions of general relevance about the requirements and process of the Central Service RFA are received, we will post anonymized summaries of these questions and their answers here. Please direct any additional questions to jessica.polka@asapbio.org. Bidders’ information meetings Audio of February 24th, 2017 bidders’ information meeting. The March 29th 9pm EDT meeting had no participants. Q&A Q:…

Read more

ASAPbio awarded $1 million from Helmsley Charitable Trust for next-generation life sciences preprint infrastructure

Date: Thursday, February 23, 2017 Contact: Jessica Polka | Director, ASAPbio | jessica.polka@asapbio.org ASAPbio, a biologist-driven project to promote the productive use of preprints in the life sciences, has received a $1 million, 18-month grant from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust to develop a new service to aggregate life sciences preprints…

Read more

ASAPbio newsletter vol 7 – Funders sign onto principles for preprint development, RFA released, scientific society town hall

Dear subscribers, Since the summer of 2016, ASAPbio has been iterating on a proposal for a “Central Service” for life sciences preprints, a database that would aggregate preprints from multiple sources and make them easier to access by humans and machines. We explain the benefits of such a service in a recent blog post. Yesterday, 11…

Read more

The Benefits of a “Central Service” for Biology Preprints

Preprints are complete and public manuscripts with associated data shared before undergoing peer review. Physicists, mathematicians, and computer scientists post 100,000 preprints per year to arXiv, a scientist-governed preprint server that has been in operation for over a quarter of a century. Preprints in the life sciences are in a more embryonic stage, with less…

Read more

RFA

May 10, 2017 update: ASAPbio has announced a four-month suspension of the RFA process to reassess the preprint ecosystem and community needs. ASAPbio is releasing a Request for Applications for the development of a Central Service (provisional name) for preprints in the life sciences issued by ASAPbio. This Request is open to all prospective bidders, and…

Read more

Principles for establishing a Central Service for Preprints: a statement from a consortium of funders

At the ASAPbio Funders’ Workshop, representatives from a number of funding agencies asked ASAPbio to “develop a proposal describing the governance, infrastructure and standards desired for a preprint service that represents the views of the broadest number of stakeholders.” Following iterative discussions about the technical and organizational aspects of such a project, ASAPbio is now…

Read more

Societies clarify positions on preprints in grants

Following increased interest in may scientific societies’ positions on the use of preprints in NIH grant applications, several societies have released statements providing their perspectives. ASCB The ASCB leadership, after careful consideration, believes preprints should be able to be included in grant applications and referenced in NIH progress reports, with the proper references so they…

Read more

ASAPbio newsletter vol 6 – One quick action this week to support preprints

Dear subscribers, We need your help for an urgent action this week. The NIH released a RFI (request for information) on “including preprints and interim research products in the NIH applications and reports.”  ASAPbio, and many individual scientists, responded with arguments in favor of providing scientists with the option, not requirement, of citing preprints in NIH applications/reports as public evidence…

Read more

ASAPbio response to FASEB’s statement on the NIH RFI on preprints

1/19/2017 update: We will close the signature drive at 9pm EST on Sunday, 1/22/2017. Summary The NIH released a RFI (request for information) on “including preprints and interim research products in the NIH applications and reports.”  ASAPbio, and many individual scientists, responded with arguments in favor of providing scientists with the option, not requirement, of…

Read more

Preprint journal clubs

For authors, one of the most exciting potential benefits of preprints is the ability to attract early feedback from broad and diverse sources during the preparation of a scientific manuscript. Preprint journal clubs can provide this input – and a more meaningful review experience for their own members as well. Here are some examples and resources for setting them up. Prachee…

Read more

Update on development of a Central Service Request for Applications (RFA)

At the ASAPbio Funders’ Workshop in May of 2016, representatives of funding agencies requested that ASAPbio “develop a proposal describing the governance, infrastructure and standards desired for a preprint service that represents the views of the broadest number of stakeholders.” Toward this end, we proposed a model for a “Central Service” (CS) that would aggregate…

Read more

ASAPbio newsletter vol 5 – Tell the NIH what you think about preprints, Crossref service launches today, new resources

Dear ASAPbio subscriber, Tell the NIH what you think about preprints The NIH has recently released a request for information (RFI) on the use of preprints and other interim research products. We encourage all interested parties to respond to the RFI using the submission website by the deadline of December 9th (extended from November 29th).…

Read more

ASAPbio newsletter vol 4 – Technical workshop, new website features, ambassadors

Dear ASAPbio subscriber, Here’s what’s new: We held a successful Technical Workshop to discuss the feasibility of creating a central preprint service. All the notes are online, and you can also view the archived video stream. We’re working on a request for information to identify potential suppliers, their implementation strategies, and their predicted costs and…

Read more

ASAPbio newsletter vol 3 – REQUESTING FEEDBACK on a central preprint service for biology

Dear ASAPbio subscriber, It’s been an exciting few months at ASAPbio! Here’s what’s happened: The report of our February meeting at HHMI was published in Science, and Ron Vale and Tony Hyman recently published an article about priority of discovery & preprints in eLife. ASAPbio was awarded grants totalling $400,000 in provisional funding from the…

Read more

Appendix 2: Current feedback on Central Service features

Central Service model documents Summary: Background and a draft model Appendix 1: Rationale for a Central Service Appendix 2: Current feedback on Central Service features Current discussions with the community on proposed features of the Central Service Surveys and information from scientists We will continue to engage the scientific community on what services they want to see…

Read more

ASAPbio newsletter vol 2 – Your help requested for the ASAPbio Funders’ Workshop

Dear ASAPbio subscriber, Last week, we announced the ASAPbio Funders’ Workshop, a small meeting to be held at NIH on May 24th to coordinate support among private and public funding agencies for preprints in biology. Representatives from existing preprint servers will attend, as will some junior and senior scientists. To ensure that the voice of…

Read more

An update from ASAPbio

We are writing to inform you about some developments since the first ASAPbio meeting at the HHMI in February. This meeting, which was attended by a diverse group of individuals representing many institutions and followed by a sizable online audience, had an intended goal of learning whether there is increased interest and greater support for…

Read more

Some thoughts on ASAPbio

Angela DePace, Assistant Professor, Department of Systems Biology, Harvard Medical School I believe strongly in open access (mainly because everyone deserves access to the scientific literature, but also because of the immorality of making large profits from free academic labor and the unsustainability of library subscription prices).  I also believe in open peer review; I strive to…

Read more

ASAPbio newsletter – vol 1

Thanks for subscribing to ASAPbio’s newsletter! As part of the followup to last month’s productive meeting, ASAPbio organizers and attendees have been working to spread discussions about preprints to the broader community. Recent articles at Wired, NYTimes, and The Economist have certainly moved the needle in this regard! Please help keep the conversation going by…

Read more

Open pre-print peer review: a call for greater transparency in the evaluation of manuscripts

Lachlan Coin, Institute for Molecular Bioscience, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia Darya Vanichkina, Centenary Institute, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia Alicia Oshlack, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne, Australia Transparency and openness are extremely beneficial for science.  The immediate and open publication of findings via preprint servers results in rapid dissemination of…

Read more

Open Scholar: Using Existing Infrastructure to Transform Peer Review

Gary McDowell, Future of Research and Tufts University, and Pandelis Perakakis, Mind, Brain and Behaviour Research Centre, University of Granada, Spain Please address any correspondence to garymcdow@gmail.com and peraka@ugr.es In reforming the culture of peer review and moving towards a system that embraces the use and recognition of pre-print servers, we are cognizant of the…

Read more

bioRxiv: a progress report

John R. Inglis and Richard Sever, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Please address any correspondence to inglis@cshl.edu and sever@cshl.edu bioRxiv (biorxiv.org) is a not-for-profit, online archiving and distribution service for preprints[1] of research papers in the life sciences. It was launched in November 2013 by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, a research and educational institution, and receives financial support from…

Read more

ASAPbio and Preprints – A Perspective from a Junior Faculty Member

James Fraser, UCSF Can we move towards more open and rapid sharing of scientific results without putting younger scientists careers at risk?  Ideally we want evaluation (of candidates for faculty positions, of promotion of Assistant Professors, of graduate students for fellowships, or of grants for funding) to be thorough and based entirely on a careful…

Read more

What Defines “Priority of Discovery” in the Life Sciences?

Ronald D. Vale1 and Anthony A. Hyman2 1Dept. of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology, University of California San Francisco and The Howard Hughes Medical Institute, San Francisco, USA 2Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Dresden, Germany Address correspondence to: vale@ucsf.edu and hyman@mpi-cbg.de Summary A scientist’s job is to make a discovery and then…

Read more

Pre-prints: building a practical guide and Q&As for junior scientists

Samuel L. Díaz-Muñoz Center for Genomics and Systems Biology and Department of Biology, New York University Pre-prints of research articles have been proposed as a way to advance scientific progress, establish priority of discovery, and ameliorate some of the current shortcomings of the peer review process. All these traits are intended to accelerate the pace…

Read more

Sharing Preprints and Publishing Papers: a Symbiosis

Bernd Pulverer EMBO Press, Meyerhofstrasse 1, Heidelberg, Germany bernd.pulverer@embo.org Print servers allow the efficient sharing and discussion of scientific findings without restriction or delay. Quality assurance through peer review and editorial processes are more important than ever, given the rapid growth and increased complexity of scientific information. I will argue that both processes can work…

Read more

Coupling Pre-Prints and Post-Publication Peer Review for Fast, Cheap, Fair, and Effective Science Publishing

Michael Eisen1,2 and Leslie B. Vosshall 3,4 1 Department of Molecular and Cell Biology and 2 Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of California, Berkeley, CA. 3 Laboratory of Neurogenetics and Behavior and 4 Howard Hughes Medical Institute, The Rockefeller University, New York, NY. mbeisen@berkeley.edu; leslie@rockefeller.edu Research papers are the primary tangible and lasting output of…

Read more

The role of preprints in publishing

Vitek Tracz and Rebecca Lawrence F1000, Middlesex House, 34-42 Cleveland St, London, W1T 4LB, vitek@sciencenow.com, rebecca.lawrence@f1000.com We support the adoption of preprints in biomedicine, as one of a number of innovations that will help to accelerate scientific progress. However, we believe that simply adopting preprints on their own, whilst retaining the existing traditional journal publishing…

Read more