In late January, ASAPbio, in collaboration with EMBL-EBI and Ithaka S+R, hosted the #bioPreprints2020 workshop to improve the discoverability, reuse, and interoperability of preprints in the life and biomedical sciences. After the meeting, attendees formed working groups to establish draft recommendations for preprint metadata, withdrawal and removal definitions, data availability statements, versioning, and surfacing review events in the context of preprints.
Today marks the release of the meeting report, “Building trust in preprints: recommendations for servers and other stakeholders.”
Best practice recommendations
The following is a summary of major recommendations from the report.
- Create a permanent identifier (PID) for each preprint version; link all versions together.
- Allow authors to indicate data availability (and provide links to data deposited elsewhere) when submitting a preprint, make this information discoverable by humans and machines, and transfer this information to journals as part of preprint-to-journal transfer workflows.
- Adopt standardized definitions of withdrawal (original preprint full text remains) and removal (original preprint full text removed). Clearly display withdrawal and removal notices and notify journals if a preprint has been withdrawn or removed after journal publication.
- Create recommended metadata (see table 2 in report for details).
Summary of recommended metadata
File modification status
Author ID (s)
Keywords and terms
Available resource statement
Available resource type
Available resource links
Quality control information
Peer review services
- Create and manage metadata for review events; make this available to preprint servers and others.
- When transferring a journal submission to a preprint server, transfer data availability statements to the server and work toward interoperability of data availability statements.
- Notify preprint servers in the case of article withdrawal/removals, for example via Crossref Crossmark.
This would not have been possible without the input and energy of the meeting attendees and representatives of additional preprint services who provided feedback on the recommendations. We thank all those involved in developing this resource. See a complete list in the acknowledgements section on page 26 of the report.
Your feedback welcome
We welcome feedback from readers, which we hope to integrate in a future revision of the report. Leave us a comment on the preprint or feel free to email email@example.com.
Featured image: a suggestion for a new sticker design from the swag table at #bioPreprints2020.