Draft statement 1: disclosing and crediting scientific work involving preprints

We, the undersigned researchers in the life sciences community, support the concept and expansion of an equitable, simple, and rapid system for disclosing our research work.  Our support of such a system is based on the conviction that 1) the scientific community and society can benefit from and further develop the new knowledge that we have gained without any delay, and 2) we should be able to control the time at which our work is communicated to our scientific colleagues.  We feel that these goals can be accomplished by posting our work on a preprint server.

If we post our work on a preprint server and wish to receive credit from our scientific colleagues, we will:

  1. Provide access to the relevant underlying data and the written interpretation of the data, which together documents the evidence and awareness of a discovery, exactly as we do when we submit work to a journal for peer review.
  2. Provide a complete description of the methodologies used, so that the work can be replicated and extended by other scientists and therefore would be considered a fair transfer of our knowledge to the public domain.
  3. Use a preprint server that A) is a considered to provide a broad venue for dissemination, so that the new knowledge is readily apparent to the scientific community, and B) has the infrastructure to maintain a permanent record of our work.

As responsible citizens of the scientific community, we:

  1. Recognize that the work posted on a preprint server is not peer-reviewed.
  2. But we acknowledge that a preprint, which has been deposited according to the standards described above, represents a fair disclosure of knowledge from one or a group of scientists to the larger scientific community. We will fairly cite original work presented as a preprint in our own scientific papers, just as we would cite a journal publication. We will acknowledge such work, as appropriate, in our presentations at scientific meetings
  3. Will consider preprints that are listed on applications (for jobs, promotions, programs, and awards) as evidence of achievement and fairly evaluate their scientific merit, just as we would consider articles published in traditional journals.

Survey results

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55 responses. Of the three “no” responses, all listed caveats for the response. Two wrote that they cannot endorse because of their position in a government agency and one wrote that they would endorse if changes were made. Many comments (~10) centered on “1. Recognize that the work posted on a preprint server is not peer-reviewed.” ~7 responses were from those participating virtually.