Preprints help to improve the overall quality, integrity and reproducibility of research outputs, as highlighted in UNESCO’s recommendations on open science. Preprint adoption is increasing across scientific disciplines and geographies thanks to the involvement of multiple players, including researchers, publishers, institutions, societies, and funders. Funders can significantly influence, and benefit from, the preprint landscape by advocating for their adoption among their grantees.
ASAPbio wants to support funders that seek to update their policies to recognize preprints as valuable scientific outputs, following the example of several public and private funders (e.g. the US National Institutes of Health, the European Research Council, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, and The Aligning Science Across Parkinson’s initiative). With this goal, we have created a guide that aims to contextualize the benefits of preprints and inform how funders can incorporate preprints into their policies and processes. The preprint policy toolkit for funders acknowledges different levels of preprint acceptance (mandate, encourage, and allowance) and aims to inform both stepwise small policy development as well as substantial policy updates in support of preprints.
The toolkit includes, among additional resources:
- Context and benefits for funders
- Guidance on how to incorporate and review the use of preprints into current policies
- A preprint policy text document template
We thank the authors Sandra Franco Iborra, Marco Fumasoni, Sónia Gomes Pereira, Rinalda Proko, Iratxe Puebla, Pablo Ranea-Robles and Saeed Shafiei Sabet for their contributions to the toolkit. We also thank Maryrose Franko (Health Research Alliance), Chris Erdmann (Michael J. Fox Foundation) and Eunice Mercado Lara (Open Research Funders Group) for their insightful comments and input on the toolkit, helping to make it more appropriate to the funders’ context.
We welcome feedback on the toolkit and recommendations for additional resources to develop. Please do get in touch with any suggestions!