9.401 | Fall 2022 | Graduate

Tools for Robust Science

Week 6 Tool: Preprints and Post-publication Review

The Tool

Practical skills assignment

  1. Take fosteropenscience.eu course on Open Peer Review. Which are the advantages and disadvantages of Open peer review versus double-blind review? (Here’s a paper about double blind review.
  2. eLife as a journal has been experimenting with ways to improve peer review (more information on eLife’s explanation of their model here: Why publish with eLife? and here: Publishing and peer review). What do you think of their approach?  
  3. ASAPBio has been trying to expand preprint review (see the blog post). Participate in post-publication review of a preprint. Using one of the websites or resources below, or on Twitter or your own blog, comment on, review, endorse, or tweet about a preprint in your field. (Note: the content of these can be positive, along the lines of “What I like about this paper is…”). Does your experience shed light on the obstacles ASAPbio confronted, in making reform?
  4. Identify a preprint (by you, or by someone you know personally) that was shared on an archive and publicized on social media (e.g. Twitter, etc)  before it was formally published. Did sharing the preprint accelerate the response to the paper? Did the paper change in response to feedback to the preprint, that wasn’t provided by a journal?

In your response paper, describe what you did in fulfilling the practical activity, and include a link to your public response/comment. Also, discuss any snags you hit. 

Then provide a critical evaluation of the tool. How will preprints and post-publication review help address the flaws in the current peer review system? What are the biggest obstacles? 

Tools for post-publication peer review or commentary on preprints:

Other resources for improving preprint and review systems:

Practical resources for writing peer reviews:

Course Info

As Taught In
Fall 2022
Learning Resource Types
Written Assignments