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2.
PLoS Biol ; 20(2): e3001285, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1662437

ABSTRACT

Amid the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, preprints in the biomedical sciences are being posted and accessed at unprecedented rates, drawing widespread attention from the general public, press, and policymakers for the first time. This phenomenon has sharpened long-standing questions about the reliability of information shared prior to journal peer review. Does the information shared in preprints typically withstand the scrutiny of peer review, or are conclusions likely to change in the version of record? We assessed preprints from bioRxiv and medRxiv that had been posted and subsequently published in a journal through April 30, 2020, representing the initial phase of the pandemic response. We utilised a combination of automatic and manual annotations to quantify how an article changed between the preprinted and published version. We found that the total number of figure panels and tables changed little between preprint and published articles. Moreover, the conclusions of 7.2% of non-COVID-19-related and 17.2% of COVID-19-related abstracts undergo a discrete change by the time of publication, but the majority of these changes do not qualitatively change the conclusions of the paper.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Information Dissemination/methods , Peer Review, Research/trends , Periodicals as Topic/trends , Publications/trends , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Peer Review, Research/methods , Peer Review, Research/standards , Periodicals as Topic/standards , Periodicals as Topic/statistics & numerical data , Publications/standards , Publications/statistics & numerical data , Publishing/standards , Publishing/statistics & numerical data , Publishing/trends , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/physiology
3.
PLoS One ; 16(6): e0244529, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1280615

ABSTRACT

Attitudes towards open peer review, open data and use of preprints influence scientists' engagement with those practices. Yet there is a lack of validated questionnaires that measure these attitudes. The goal of our study was to construct and validate such a questionnaire and use it to assess attitudes of Croatian scientists. We first developed a 21-item questionnaire called Attitudes towards Open data sharing, preprinting, and peer-review (ATOPP), which had a reliable four-factor structure, and measured attitudes towards open data, preprint servers, open peer-review and open peer-review in small scientific communities. We then used the ATOPP to explore attitudes of Croatian scientists (n = 541) towards these topics, and to assess the association of their attitudes with their open science practices and demographic information. Overall, Croatian scientists' attitudes towards these topics were generally neutral, with a median (Md) score of 3.3 out of max 5 on the scale score. We also found no gender (P = 0.995) or field differences (P = 0.523) in their attitudes. However, attitudes of scientist who previously engaged in open peer-review or preprinting were higher than of scientists that did not (Md 3.5 vs. 3.3, P<0.001, and Md 3.6 vs 3.3, P<0.001, respectively). Further research is needed to determine optimal ways of increasing scientists' attitudes and their open science practices.


Subject(s)
Peer Review, Research/trends , Preprints as Topic/trends , Scholarly Communication/trends , Adult , Aged , Attitude , Croatia , Cross-Sectional Studies , Faculty , Female , Humans , Information Dissemination/methods , Laboratory Personnel , Male , Middle Aged , Peer Review, Research/methods , Physicians , Psychometrics/methods , Surveys and Questionnaires
6.
PLoS One ; 16(5): e0250887, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1229046

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To determine whether medRxiv data availability statements describe open or closed data-that is, whether the data used in the study is openly available without restriction-and to examine if this changes on publication based on journal data-sharing policy. Additionally, to examine whether data availability statements are sufficient to capture code availability declarations. DESIGN: Observational study, following a pre-registered protocol, of preprints posted on the medRxiv repository between 25th June 2019 and 1st May 2020 and their published counterparts. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Distribution of preprinted data availability statements across nine categories, determined by a prespecified classification system. Change in the percentage of data availability statements describing open data between the preprinted and published versions of the same record, stratified by journal sharing policy. Number of code availability declarations reported in the full-text preprint which were not captured in the corresponding data availability statement. RESULTS: 3938 medRxiv preprints with an applicable data availability statement were included in our sample, of which 911 (23.1%) were categorized as describing open data. 379 (9.6%) preprints were subsequently published, and of these published articles, only 155 contained an applicable data availability statement. Similar to the preprint stage, a minority (59 (38.1%)) of these published data availability statements described open data. Of the 151 records eligible for the comparison between preprinted and published stages, 57 (37.7%) were published in journals which mandated open data sharing. Data availability statements more frequently described open data on publication when the journal mandated data sharing (open at preprint: 33.3%, open at publication: 61.4%) compared to when the journal did not mandate data sharing (open at preprint: 20.2%, open at publication: 22.3%). CONCLUSION: Requiring that authors submit a data availability statement is a good first step, but is insufficient to ensure data availability. Strict editorial policies that mandate data sharing (where appropriate) as a condition of publication appear to be effective in making research data available. We would strongly encourage all journal editors to examine whether their data availability policies are sufficiently stringent and consistently enforced.


Subject(s)
Information Dissemination/methods , Peer Review, Research/trends , Preprints as Topic/trends , Data Accuracy , Editorial Policies , Humans , Peer Review, Research/methods , Policy
7.
FEBS J ; 288(9): 2750-2756, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1218106

ABSTRACT

Peer review, the system by which manuscripts submitted for publication are evaluated by experts (peers) in a field, is the cornerstone of high-quality scholarly publishing. By commenting on the originality, significance and completeness of submitted manuscripts, peer reviewers improve the standard of published work and play a key part in preventing flawed research from being widely distributed. This Words of Advice article highlights the importance of developing the skill of reviewing papers from early on in a scientific career and provides tips on navigating all stages of the process, as well as flagging some common mistakes.


Subject(s)
Peer Review, Research/trends , Peer Review , Research Report/trends , Humans
8.
PLoS Biol ; 19(4): e3000959, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1166988

ABSTRACT

The world continues to face a life-threatening viral pandemic. The virus underlying the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has caused over 98 million confirmed cases and 2.2 million deaths since January 2020. Although the most recent respiratory viral pandemic swept the globe only a decade ago, the way science operates and responds to current events has experienced a cultural shift in the interim. The scientific community has responded rapidly to the COVID-19 pandemic, releasing over 125,000 COVID-19-related scientific articles within 10 months of the first confirmed case, of which more than 30,000 were hosted by preprint servers. We focused our analysis on bioRxiv and medRxiv, 2 growing preprint servers for biomedical research, investigating the attributes of COVID-19 preprints, their access and usage rates, as well as characteristics of their propagation on online platforms. Our data provide evidence for increased scientific and public engagement with preprints related to COVID-19 (COVID-19 preprints are accessed more, cited more, and shared more on various online platforms than non-COVID-19 preprints), as well as changes in the use of preprints by journalists and policymakers. We also find evidence for changes in preprinting and publishing behaviour: COVID-19 preprints are shorter and reviewed faster. Our results highlight the unprecedented role of preprints and preprint servers in the dissemination of COVID-19 science and the impact of the pandemic on the scientific communication landscape.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Information Dissemination/methods , Publishing/trends , SARS-CoV-2 , Biomedical Research/trends , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communication , Humans , Open Access Publishing/trends , Pandemics , Peer Review, Research/trends , Preprints as Topic , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity
10.
Transpl Int ; 34(2): 220-223, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1066770

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 challenges to keep a valuable educational offer with lockdown measures and social distancing are reviewed. Scientific Societies had to think of new alternatives to maintain meetings with conversion to a virtual format and development of online resources, rapidly available and broadly accessible. Other in person activities as face-to-face clinics have been substituted by telemedicine; the same happened with surgical training in theatre, given the suspension of most of the operations. Finally, the need to share and communicate in a continuous evolving scenario, has impacted negatively the integrity of peer review process, not following the normal procedures to ensure scientific integrity and reproducibility in the earliest phases of the pandemic.


Subject(s)
Biomedical Research/organization & administration , COVID-19/prevention & control , Education, Distance/organization & administration , Specialties, Surgical/education , Telemedicine/organization & administration , Biomedical Research/standards , Biomedical Research/trends , COVID-19/epidemiology , Global Health , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Pandemics , Peer Review, Research/standards , Peer Review, Research/trends , Periodicals as Topic/standards , Periodicals as Topic/trends , Physical Distancing
11.
14.
Br J Biomed Sci ; 77(4): 159-167, 2020 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-949559

ABSTRACT

Each year the British Journal of Biomedical Science publishes a 'What have we learned' editorial designed to introduce readers within the major disciplines of laboratory medicine to developments outside their immediate area. In addition it is designed to inform a wider readership of the advances in the diagnosis and treatment of disease. To this end, in 2020 the journal published 39 articles covering the disciplines within Biomedical Science in the 4 issues comprising volume 77. These included a review of COVID-19 in this issue, 27 original articles, 6 Biomedical Science 'In Brief' and 4 case histories. 27 of the articles involved molecular techniques, with one of these comparing results with a mass spectrometry based method. The preponderance of molecular genetic studies gives us a good idea of the likely future direction of the disciplines.


Subject(s)
Biomedical Research/trends , Pandemics , Peer Review, Research/trends , COVID-19/virology , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity
15.
J Eval Clin Pract ; 27(1): 16-21, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-889767

ABSTRACT

RATIONALE, AIMS, AND OBJECTIVES: To both examine the impact of preprint publishing on health sciences research and survey popular preprint servers amidst the current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. METHODS: The authors queried three biomedical databases (MEDLINE, Web of Science, and Google Scholar) and two preprint servers (MedRxiv and SSRN) to identify literature pertaining to preprints. Additionally, they evaluated 12 preprint servers featuring COVID-19 research through sample submission of six manuscripts. RESULTS: The realm of health sciences research has seen a dramatic increase in the presence and importance of preprint publications. By posting manuscripts on preprint servers, researchers are able to immediately communicate their findings, thereby facilitating prompt feedback and promoting collaboration. In doing so, they may also reduce publication bias and improve methodological transparency. However, by circumventing the peer-review process, academia incurs the risk of disseminating erroneous or misinterpreted data and suffering the downstream consequences. Never have these issues been better highlighted than during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Researchers have flooded the literature with preprint publications as stopgaps to meet the desperate need for knowledge about the disease. These unreviewed articles initially outnumbered those published in conventional journals and helped steer the mainstream scientific community at the start of the pandemic. In surveying select preprint servers, the authors discovered varying usability, review practices, and acceptance polices. CONCLUSION: While vital in the rapid dispensation of science, preprint manuscripts promulgate their conclusions without peer review and possess the capacity to misinform. Undoubtedly part of the future of science, conscientious consumers will need to appreciate not only their utility, but also their limitations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Information Dissemination/methods , Periodicals as Topic/trends , Preprints as Topic/trends , Data Accuracy , Humans , Peer Review, Research/trends , Public Health , Publishing/trends
19.
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