Their use and platforms require greater scrutiny Preprints-manuscripts that have not undergone peer review-were first embraced in physics, catalysed by the creation in the early 1990s of arXiv.org, an open online repository for scholarly papers.1 It was not until 2013 that similar initiatives were embraced by the biological and then medical sciences,2 and novel publishing platforms continue to emerge. Some commentators believe the potential for harm is outweighed by the benefits,134 but others have raised specific concerns regarding medical preprints and mitigating the risk of harm to the public.2 These discussions need to be revisited in the context of the covid-19 pandemic, which has been accompanied by an explosion of preprint publications. An analysis focusing on studies estimating the R of SARS-CoV-2 drew attention to the powerful role of preprints in shaping global discourse about covid-19 transmissibility. While showing the benefits that preprints may confer when adopting a consensus based approach-where data is extracted from multiple studies to observe trends and obtain an average with or without the exclusion of outliers-the authors also identify risks-matters of credibility and misinformation, both intentional and unintentional5-which may be increased where there are vested interests involved. Notably, two linked preprint publications examining the association between smoking and covid-19,67 which were widely disseminated before …
There is a preprint with data on the first coronavirus vaccine candidate from the Pfizer/BioNTech effort. This article argues that it's extremely important that the human trial data is made available for the public to trust the vaccines that get approved.
Which would you trust more, a research article posted as a preprint, or one that has been published after peer review? The reality is that all science communicated via either mechanism should be read with a discerning and critical eye.
It is testament to the machinery of science that so much has been learned about covid-19 so rapidly. Since January the number of publications has been doubling every 14 days, reaching 1,363 in the past week alone. They have covered everything from the genetics of the virus that causes the disease to computer models of its spread and the scope for vaccines and treatments. What explains the speed? Much as in other areas of life, covid-19 has burnt away encrusted traditions.
Spike Mutation Pipeline Reveals the Emergence of a More Transmissible Form of SARS-CoV-2
We have developed an analysis pipeline to facilitate real-time mutation tracking in SARS-CoV-2, focusing initially on the Spike (S) protein because it mediates infection of human cells and is the target of most vaccine strategies and antibody-based therapeutics.
Between Fast Science and Fake News: Preprint Servers Are Political
Preprints servers have become a vital medium for the rapid sharing of scientific findings. However, this speed and openness has also contributed to the ability of low quality preprints to derail public debate and feed conspiracy theories.
The SciELO Program has launched the SciELO Preprints server with the aim of accelerating the availability of research articles and other scientific communications before, or in parallel with, their evaluation and validation by scientific journals through the peer review process. Although open to all thematic areas, SciELO Preprints will focus on immediately serving communications related to COVID-19.
Strong Caveats Are Lacking As News Stories Trumpet Preliminary COVID-19 Research
Some argue that rapid data sharing is ideally suited for infectious disease outbreaks like the one we’re experiencing now. However, the prospect of public access to unvetted work sparked worry about potential health scares and patients demanding unproven treatments.
The public call for rapid sharing of research data relevant to the COVID-19 outbreak is driving an unprecedented surge in (unrefereed) preprints. To help pinpoint the most important research, Nature launched Outbreak Science Rapid PREreview, an open-source platform for rapid review of preprints related to emerging outbreaks.