Draft statement 2: journal policies regarding pre-posting of articles

Developed for Discussion at ASAPbio by The Royal Society, PLOS, eLife, and EMBO Press

We are committed to increasing the accessibility of research and ensuring that it is communicated as rapidly as possible. To accelerate this process, we encourage researchers to deposit early versions of articles they intend to submit to a peer-reviewed journal in appropriate subject repositories such as arXiv and bioRxiv. The manuscript submitted to a journal, an earlier draft, or any part thereof may be deposited at any time and made freely available.

Posting on a recognised preprint server does not constitute prior publication or a breach of our press embargo policies (where they exist), and will prejudice neither the peer review process nor publication in our journals or monographs.

The advantages for you the researcher are:

  • making other researchers aware of your findings as soon as possible without having to wait for formal publication
  • establishing the priority of your work
  • enabling you to cite work, for example in applications for jobs, fellowships, grants, conferences, by providing a link to a pre-publication output
  • receiving constructive feedback on your work from a wide group before publication
  • increased readership of your article

When posting an article on a pre-print server or a preprint in a repository, we recommend that researchers:

  1. make clear the status of the work, e.g. that it has not been formally peer reviewed, revised or accepted by a journal (or other recognised venue).
  2. take responsibility to safeguard sensitive information, such as patient identities or the location of endangered species, and adhere to appropriate standards of reporting and ethical oversight.
  3. add a link to the final publisher version, once the article is accepted and formally published.

Survey results

image (9)

51 responses. Of the four “no” responses, only one did not list caveats for the response. Two wrote that they cannot endorse because of their position in a government agency and one wrote that this was intended for publishers and not scientists. Many comments (~12) centered on paragraph beginning “When posting an article on a pre-print server or a preprint in a repository, we recommend that researchers…” ~6 responses were from those participating virtually.