With the Covid-19 outbreak, the need to quickly share scientific discoveries has been heightened, and biological researchers seem to be discovering the advantages of preprints as well as the servers that host them, such as medArxiv, bioRXiv… This looks like a small revolution as peer-reviewing, although a slower process, was until now the flagship model for publication.
Since the end of January, several articles have been looking into this phenomenon and have come to the same conclusion: preprints, despite the risks, are a particularly interesting publication format at this time of global health crisis to quickly exchange on scientific discoveries.
The advantages of preprints are that scientists can post them rapidly and receive feedback from their peers quickly, sometimes almost instantaneously. They also keep other scientists informed about what their colleagues are doing and build on that work. Preprints are archived in a way that they can be referenced and will always be available online.
Even the risks of poor quality publications seem to be easily remedied. For example, an article submitted on January 31 on bioRXiv was very quickly and widely criticized for its poor quality (90 comments in 48 hours) and was very quickly retracted. Moreover, this preprint has since led to the publication of an article in a peer-reviewed journal that debunks the criticized results.
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