Preprints: An underutilized mechanism to accelerate outbreak science

PLoS Medicine
(Accessed 7 April 2018)

Preprints: An underutilized mechanism to accelerate outbreak science
Michael A. Johansson, Nicholas G. Reich, Lauren Ancel Meyers, Marc Lipsitch
| published 03 Apr 2018 PLOS Medicine
Summary points
:: Preprints—manuscripts posted openly online prior to peer review—offer an opportunity to accelerate the dissemination of scientific findings to support responses to infectious disease outbreaks.
:: Preprints posted during the Ebola and Zika outbreaks included novel analyses and new data, and most of those that were matched to peer-reviewed publications were available more than 100 days before publication.
:: Despite the advantages of preprints and the endorsement of journals and funders in the context of outbreaks, less than 5% of Ebola and Zika journal articles were posted as preprints prior to publication in journals.
:: With broader adoption by scientists, journals, and funding agencies, preprints can complement peer-reviewed publication and ensure the early, open, and transparent dissemination of science relevant to the prevention and control of disease outbreaks.