|da Silva JAT (2018) The preprint debate: What are the issues?. Med J Armed Forces India 74:162-64.|
Abstract: The debate surrounding preprints is increasing. Preprint proponents claim that preprints are a way to shore up trust in academic publishing, that they provide an additional 'quality' screen prior to traditional peer review, that they can assist with the replication crisis plaguing science in part by making negative or contradictory results public, and that they speed up the publishing process because fundamental results can be presented early, serving as timely reports for the purposes of tenure or grant funding. Preprint skeptics and critics claim that preprints may represent a risk and a danger to quality-based academic publishing because they are documents that have not been carefully and thoroughly vetted prior to their release into the public domain. Thus, academics who cite invalid, poorly vetted, or false facts could cause harm, not unlike the unscholarly 'predatory' open access movement. Feedback on work from lesser-known groups, or on less glamorous topics, may be null or worse than from traditional peer review, annulling an initial key objective of preprints. Although there is no widespread empirical evidence or data yet regarding some of these issues, academics should be aware of the ideological, financial, and political tug-of-war taking place before deciding if they wish to publish their important findings as a preprint prior or simultaneous to submitting to a regular journal for peer review.
• Keywords: ASAPbio; DOI; Preprint server; arXiv; bioRxiv • Bioblast editor: Gnaiger E