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 content from multiple preprint servers, facilitating human and machine access to preprints via a search tool and an API.

Three separate processes are now ongoing to define this service:

Funder group

A group of funders is currently discussing the principles (governance, licensing, etc) that are required for their participation in the project.

Technical Workshop report

We convened a small Technical Workshop in August 2016 to discuss the technical specifications for a CS. We are now converting the notes from this workshop into a narrative report that will be made available for public content.

Governance Task Force

We have invited a small, international group (~30) comprised mostly of working biomedical scientists to produce a white paper detailing how an independent governing body for a preprint service could be formed and how it should act to ensure that the service acts in the best interest of its users. This will also be available for public comment before it is finalized.

We expect that these three processes will result in the release of a Request for Applications (RFA) to invite potential suppliers or consortia of suppliers to submit proposals for the provision of a CS. We anticipate that the RFA will be released in early 2017.

If you have feedback on these processes, please leave a comment below, or email jessica.polka@asapbio.org.