A global network of researchers

A joint webinar on role of preprints in scholarly publishing

By Kojo Ahiakpa | July 9, 2024  | Journal clubs Webinar

Authored by Kojo Ahiakpa, Godwyns Onwechukwa, Funmilayo Doherty, Aneyo Idowu & Ravichandra Mondreti

 

The AuthorAID Environmental Chemistry, Toxicology & Biology Journal Club, in collaboration with eLife and OAAD Agric Research Group, organised a highly informative and engaging webinar titled "The Role of Preprints in Scholarly Publishing" on May 10, 2024. The e-workshop was aimed at delving into the significance of preprints in contemporary scholarly publishing and communication, offering participants insights into their evolution, benefits, and practical applications in academic research.

The organisers designed a registration form for interested participants to register for the session. In all 58 researchers from 13 countries (9 from Africa, and 4 from South East Asia) signed up for the session. The e-workshop delved into the significance of preprints in contemporary scholarly publishing and communication, offering participants insights into their evolution, benefits, and practical applications in academic research. The webinar commenced with an introduction to preprints, providing participants with a comprehensive overview of the history of preprints, applications, and the current state of use in scholarly publishing and communication. Participants gained valuable insights into the transformative potential of preprints as a means of rapidly disseminating research findings and fostering collaborations within the scientific community.

We also briefly evaluated the baseline knowledge and experience levels of participants with preprints using mentimeter. Participants were asked to rate their knowledge and understanding of preprints in scholarly publishing-their responses were aggregated and visualised below.

 

During the webinar, participants had the opportunity to engage and review some preprint platforms/servers for the life sciences, including BioRxiv, MedRxiv, AfricArxiv, AgRxiv, OSF, Zenodo, PREreview, Sciety, and eLife preprints. The webinar also featured interactive sessions on tasks associated with engaging with preprints, such as registering, annotating and reviewing submitted preprints on Sciety - a preprint curation platform recommended and reviewed by trusted groups of researchers. These activities enabled participants to navigate preprint platforms effectively and contribute meaningfully to the scholarly discourse.

 

Throughout the webinar, participants actively participated in discussions, asking questions, sharing insights, and exchanging experiences related to preprints in scholarly publishing. The collaborative and inclusive atmosphere fostered rich dialogue and facilitated a deeper understanding of the role of preprints in shaping the future of academic research dissemination.

The e-workshop provided a valuable opportunity for attendees to explore the significance of preprints in scholarly publishing and gain practical skills for engaging with preprint platforms. The organisers extend their gratitude to all participants for their active participation and contributions to the enriching discussions.

 

For those who were unable to attend the webinar, the recording can be accessed [here]. We look forward to organising more events and workshops to further enhance understanding and engagement with emerging trends in scholarly publishing and communication.

Concluding remarks

The e-workshop provided a valuable opportunity for attendees to explore the significance of preprints in scholarly publishing and gain practical skills for engaging with preprint platforms. Participants were made to understand the impact of preprints on publication as a major concern for researchers. Though, some journals may be reluctant to consider manuscripts posted as preprints, however; this is becoming less common as more journals are adopting preprint-friendly policies. However, the concern still exists that preprints might be seen as prior publications, affecting the novelty requirement for some journals.

The organisers extend gratitude to all participants for their active participation and contributions to the enriching discussions. For those who were unable to attend the webinar, the recording can be accessed [here]. We look forward to organising more events and workshops to further enhance understanding and engagement with emerging trends in scholarly publishing and communication.

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