|Abbasi K (2018) A giant step for science: JRSM welcomes preprints in medical science. J R Soc Med 111:263.|
Abstract: Preprints in science are nothing new. They are well established in the physical sciences, and experiments with preprints in medical sciences date back to the 1990s. When scientists imagine the future of scientific communication, preprints are inevitably an important component. The future, in this case, was slow to arrive but it is definitely here now. A preprint is a version of a scientific article that precedes its publication in a peer-reviewed journal. At one extreme, a preprint may be unedited, never peer-reviewed, or never published in a scholarly journal but simply posted on a preprint archive. The intention, however, is that by posting an article on a preprint archive, the article is freely accessible and will receive comments from the scientific community so that it can be improved before submission to a journal.
• Keywords: Preprints • Bioblast editor: Gnaiger E
- If journals truly serve science, they will welcome preprints because important findings will not be unnecessarily delayed. Journals believe that their peer-review process improves articles for publication. This is how journals add value. Prior posting on a preprint archive will only improve an article further.
- JRSM’s publication policies are in favour of an open scientific dialogue. That is why our research papers remain open access, and we do not request an open access fee unless this is included in your research grant. Indeed, this issue of JRSM reminds us of the importance of scientific inquiry,1 the value of different methodologies2 and the role of research databases.3 Embracing preprints in medical science is a natural next step for JRSM that other journals should take too. It is one small step for an individual journal but a giant step for medical science.