"If you want to be one year behind, don’t read bioRxiv” – Jeff LeekWelcome to PREreview! On PREreview you can collaboratively write reviews of preprints. This project was born in April 2017 as a collaboration eetween Samantha Hindle and Daniela Saderi, scientists and ASAPbio Ambassadors, with help from Josh Nicholson, at the time working for Authorea. ASAPbio (Accelerating Science And Publication in biology) is a non-profit organization dedicated to spreading the word about preprints to accelerate scientific discovery.As of October 2018, we are proud to have become an official project fiscally sponsored by Code for Science and Society. Learn more in this blog post.We are also proud to announce that we have received funding from the Sloan Foundation and the Wellcome Trust to continue to grow our community. Reed more here and stay tuned for some exciting updates! Our Mission PREreview seeks to diversify peer review in the academic community by crowdsourcing pre-publication feedback to improve the quality of published scientific output, and to train early-career researchers (ECRs) in how to collaboratively review others' scientific work. We want to facilitate a cultural shift in which every scientist posts, reads, and engages with preprints as standard practice in scholarly publishing. We see PREreview as a hub to support and nurture the growth of a community that openly exchanges timely, constructive feedback on emerging scientific outputs. We believe that by empowering ECRs through peer review training programs, thereby increasing the diversity of researchers involved in the peer review process, PREreview will help establish a healthier and more sustainable culture around research dissemination and evaluation.
Our PledgeIn the interest of fostering an open and welcoming environment we, as contributors and maintainers, pledge to making participation to this project and community a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of age, body size, disability, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, level of experience, nationality, personal appearance, race, religion, or sexual identity and orientation.We believe it is our duty as scientists at any level of our career to contribute to scientific evaluation in the form of peer review. PREreview provides a space for any researcher, independently of their career level, to provide feedback to emerging scientific output. We strive to build and support a community of PREreviewers who provide constructive feedback, because we are convinced that one can be honest AND respectful at the same time.
At the top write: Title of the preprint, authors, date of submission, version number, preprint server, and digital object identifier (DOI)Start a new document and invite to your preprint journal club others who want to collaboratively write the preprint review – they will have to sign up on PREreview to be able to edit. Below are a short list of questions that you can have journal club attendants answer (PREreview short participant worksheet, example here), followed by more detailed guidelines on how to structure a more formal and complete peer review (PREreview peer review, example here). Answering the first set of questions will be faster and still povide useful feedback to the authors. However, if the main purpose of the preprint journal club is to train early-career researchers on how to write a peer review, recommend you write the full review as if you were a reviewer for a journal. You can use the comments from the first one to construct the preprint peer review. After you are done writing your your PREreview, you can click on "Document" (top left), "Publish" so that your preprint review will be public and will be assigned a DOI that you can use to advertise your review on social media, email to the authors, and post on the comment section on the server that hosts the preprint you chose for your JC. Additionally with a DOI, your preprint review will be citable! If you got this far, GREAT JOB! Thank you for supporting open science and helping science move forward faster!
Where you can find preprints:There are various preprint repositories (see below) and also website platforms where you can search all/most of the preprint repositories, including Prepubmed, Publons, The Winnower, and Academic Karma (please let us know at email@example.com or leave a comment on this page if we missed any). You can search the Research Preprint Servers List to find a preprint server in your field.Below is a list of the most common preprint repositories that post findings in the biological sciences:AgriXiv: a preprint repository for agriculture and allied sciencesarXiv q-bio: a preprint repository for quantitative biology operated by the Cornell University Library. This repository includes manuscripts in the following categories: Biomolecules, Cell Behavior, Genomics, Molecular Networks, Neurons and Cognition, Subcellular Processes, Populations and Evolution, Tissues and Organs, Quantitative Methods, and Other Quantitative BiologybioRxiv: a preprint repository for the biological sciences operated by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. This repository includes manuscripts in the following areas: Animal behavior and Cognition, Biochemistry, Bioengineering, Bioinformatics, Biophysics, Cancer Biology, Cell Biology, Clinical Trials, Developmental Biology. Ecology, Epidemiology, Evolutionary Biology, Genetics, Genomics, Immunology, Microbiology, Molecular Biology, Neuroscience, Paleontology, Pathology, Pharmacology and Toxicology, Physiology, Plant Biology, Scientific Communication and Education, Synthetic Biology, Systems Biology, and ZoologyOSF PREPRINTS: a preprint server that hosts preprints from a broad range of disciplines, including the Life Sciences, and Medicine and Health Sciences PeerJ Preprints: a preprint repository for the biology and computer sciencesPreprints.org: a preprint repository that posts manuscripts covering many areas of the biology and biomedical science (and other sciences, arts and humanities), including Behavioral Sciences, Biology, Life Sciences, and Medicine and PharmacologyWellcome Open Research: a preprint repository for research funded by the Wellcome Trust mainly in areas of the biological sciences, population health, applied research, humanities and social scienceINARxiv: the preprint server for Indonesia powered by OSF Preprints hosting preprints from a broad range of disciplines, including the Life Sciences, and Medicine and Health SciencesEarthArXiv: the preprint server for Earth Sciences powered by OSF Preprints
What are preprints?Preprints are complete pieces of scientific work that have not yet undergone editorial peer reviewed. Preprints are often the same manuscripts that are submitted to a journal for peer review, but are stored on freely accessible public servers (repositories) such that they become available to the whole web community within 1-2 days from submission. Usually preprints are posted on preprint repositories (see below) either before or at the same time as submission to a journal. Most journals will accept manuscripts that have previously been submitted to a preprint repository. A list of copyright and self-archiving polices can be found on Wikipedia and SHERPA/RoMEO.
In the summer of 2017, we conducted a survey to assess scientists' opinions on the value and potential barriers related to reading and reviewing preprints at journal clubs. In this short article we present and discuss the results of the survey as well as how these results helped us shape our approach at PREreview.
Homology-directed repair of a defective glabrous gene in Arabidopsis with Cas9-based gene targeting [Florian Hahn, Marion Eisenhut, Otho Mantegazza, Andreas P.M. Weber, January 5, 2018, BioRxiv] [https://doi.org/10.1101/243675]Overview and take-home messages: Hahn et al. have compared the efficiencies of two different methods that have been previously reported to enhance the frequency of homologous recombination in plants. The paper has focused on testing a viral replicon system with two different enzymes, nuclease and nickase, as well as an in planta gene targeting (IPGT) system in Arabidopsis thaliana. Interestingly, authors have chosen GLABROUS1 (GL1), a regulator of trichome formation, as a visual marker to detect Cas9 activity and therefore homologous recombination. A 10 bp deletion in the coding region of GL1 gene produces plants devoid of trichomes. Out of the two methods in planta gene targeting approach successfully restored trichome formation in less than 0.2% of ~2,500 plants screened, whereas the method based on viral replicon machinery did not manage to restore trichome formation at all. This manuscript is of high quality, experiments are well designed and executed. However, there are some concerns that could be addressed in the next preprint or print version. Below are some feedback and suggestions that we hope will improve the manuscript.
Medicago truncatula Zinc-Iron Permease6 provides zinc to rhizobia-infected nodule cells [Isidro Abreu, Angela Saez, Rosario Castro-Rodriguez, Viviana Escudero, Benjamin Rodriguez-Haas, Marta Senovilla, Camille Laure, Daniel Grolimund, Manuel Tejada-Jimenez, Juan Imperial, Manuel Gonzalez-Guerrero , January 24, 2017 (preprint), September 21, 2017 (in print), BioRxiv & Wiley-Blackwell]
This is a preprint journal club review of "Evolutionary responses to conditionality in species interactions across environmental gradients" by Anna M O'Brien, Ruairidh J.H. Sawers, Jeffrey Ross-Ibarra, Sharon Y Strauss. The preprint was originally posted on bioRxiv on December 10, 2017 (DOI: https://doi.org/10.1101/031195) https://www.biorxiv.org/content/early/2017/12/10/031195.Our group Biotic Interactions and Global Change (BIGC) reviewed this paper on January, 2017 .
The following guidelines and email templates are meant to help you start a PREreview journal club at your institution. The first two email templates are for you to send to your department to invite colleagues to your journal club; the last one is for you to send to the authors to let them know you have reviewed their preprint on PREreview. Please let us know if these materials helped you, or suggest changes by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!