Status: Completed

Team members: Naomi Penfold

Description: Preliminary exploration of the successes and weaknesses in the preprints services ecosystem

Preprints are versions of scholarly manuscripts that are shared online before they have been formally peer-reviewed. Preprints are increasingly used across multiple scholarly disciplines from mathematics and computer science to the life sciences and medical research. In particular, the COVID-19 pandemic increased attention on and engagement with preprints, as they provided a means for research to be shared and accessed more rapidly across a wide audience.

In exploring preprint services and infrastructure as a case study for how we can support critical research infrastructure, Invest in Open Infrastructure (IOI) conducted this preliminary investigation to ask: what is the current situation with preprints and open infrastructure for them, and how could IOI pursue work to further investment and sustain activities in this space?

Using desk research and semi-structured interviews with nine participants covering a range of stakeholders in the preprint space, we gathered information on the value of preprints and the successes and weaknesses in the overall preprints services ecosystems. Based on these findings, we built a set of recommendations on how funders and other stakeholders should prioritize investment to move towards a more robust, reliable, and viable infrastructure of open preprint services.

Research outputs & synthesis