Today, April 3rd 2013, we are very pleased to announce the launch of ‘PeerJ PrePrints’ an entirely new ‘preprint server’ for the Biological and Medical Sciences. With the launch of PeerJ PrePrints, the publication ecosystem of PeerJ is now complete.
There is a ‘long form’ guest blog post at Scientific American describing more of the background to this launch, but of course we wanted to note this milestone with an announcement here.
For an academic article, publication in a peer reviewed journal is simply the end point in what has typically been a lengthy process of drafts, comments from colleagues, and revisions. The physical sciences have, for a long time, circulated these drafts (or ‘preprints’) amongst their colleagues in a community-wide practice which culminated in the creation of the successfularXiv preprint server (similar examples in other fields include the Social Sciences Research Network (SSRN), and Research Papers in Economics (RePEc)). However, despite the apparent benefits of rapid dissemination and early feedback, preprint servers have not taken off in the Biological or Medical sciences. Although there have been several experiments, for example byNature Preceedings or the BMJ’s NetPrints.org (both of which have been closed down), the biological and medical fields have so far failed to embrace preprints in the same way that their physical sciences colleagues have done.