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Preprint review: addressing cultural barriers on the path for a more positive and inclusive review ecosystem

Abstract
The growth in the use of preprints has brought with it interest in preprint review initiatives. Preprint review provides benefits for authors in the form of early feedback, and holds promise to make peer review more inclusive by allowing groups generally less included in journal review (e.g. early career researchers, those from underrepresented groups) to participate. However, cultural barriers remain for participation in public preprint feedback: authors worry about unfair criticism and how it may influence a journal editor’s evaluation; reviewers fear retribution and harm to their reputation if they post critiques or comments others may perceive as uninformed, a concern particularly important when commenting on the work by someone in a position of greater power.

In this session, we will discuss ongoing initiatives to address cultural barriers to public preprint review, and potential steps to pave the way for a more positive and inclusive ecosystem of feedback on research outputs. The speakers will discuss the FAST principles for behaviours in creating and responding to preprint feedback, as well as the experience of publishers and preprint review platforms in developing skills and incentives aiming to drive participation by a diverse group of communities.

NISO Discourse Discussion for this session
https://discourse.niso.org/t/preprint-review-addressing-cultural-barriers-on-the-path-for-a-more-positive-and-inclusive-review-ecosystem/574
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The growth in the use of preprints has brought with it interest in preprint review initiatives. Preprint review provides benefits for authors in the form of early feedback, and holds promise to make peer review more inclusive by allowing groups generally less included in journal review (e.g. early career researchers, those from underrepresented groups) to participate. However, cultural barriers remain for participation in public preprint feedback: authors worry about unfair criticism and how it may influence a journal editor’s evaluation; reviewers fear retribution and harm to their reputation if they post critiques or comments others may perceive as uninformed, a concern particularly important when commenting on the work by someone in a position of greater power.
In this session, we will discuss ongoing initiatives to address cultural barriers to public preprint review, and potential steps to pave the way for a more positive and inclusive ecosystem of feedback on research outputs. The speakers will discuss the FAST principles for behaviours in creating and responding to preprint feedback, as well as the experience of publishers and preprint review platforms in developing skills and incentives aiming to drive participation by a diverse group of communities.
The NISO Plus conference brings people together from across the global information community to share updates and participate in conversations about our shared challenges and opportunities. The focus is on identifying concrete next steps to improve information flow and interoperability, and help solve existing and potential future problems. Please join us to help address the key issues facing our community of librarians, publishers, researchers, and more — today and tomorrow!

Gautam Dey is a Group Leader at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg, Germany. Gautam received his PhD from Stanford University in 2015 and carried out his postdoctoral research at University College London. Gautam is a founding member of the community-run preprint discussion forum preLights, a 2020 ASAPbio Fellow, and a long-time advocate for preprints and broader reform in scientific publishing practice. 

Website link: https://evonuclab.org/

Iratxe Puebla is Associate Director for ASAPbio, a nonprofit with a mission to accelerate innovation and transparency in life sciences communication. In her role Iratxe works to foster awareness of preprints and drive community engagement with preprints and preprint review. Prior to ASAPbio, Iratxe worked in publishing for 16 years, she held editorial roles with Open Access publishers, initially at BioMed Central and then PLOS, where she was Deputy Editor-in-Chief at the journal PLOS ONE. Iratxe is also Facilitation and Integrity Officer for the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).
Joy Owango is an experienced award-winning Founding Director with a demonstrated history of working in capacity support for early career researchers. She is skilled in Management, Business Strategy and Research Metrics. She is experienced in matters relating to Research Capacity, Higher Education, Research Analytics, Donor, and Government Relations.

Her strengths come in creating and building collaborations using the triple helix in industry, academia, and government. She has created such collaborations with the setup of the Training Centre in Communication (private/ Non-Governmental Organization), with the University of Nairobi (the leading university in East Africa). The objective of the collaboration was to create a support system to help researchers disseminate their research. The programme is celebrating its 14th year anniversary. She sits on the board of AfricArxiv - The free preprint service for African scientists.

Joy is a firm believer in open science being a conduit to democratizing higher education and fulfilling SDG 4.

Laurie Goodman, PhD, is the Publishing Director for GigaScience Press, which publishes the international open-science journals GigaScience and GigaByte. Dr. Goodman received her BS and MS from Stanford University in 1986 and PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Chicago in 1991. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Colorado at Boulder then left the bench to work in scientific publishing, first as Assistant Editor at Nature Genetics then as the Executive Editor of Genome Research and Managing Editor of Learning & Memory. She began her own manuscript development and training company, Goodman Writing & Editing, in 2006. In 2008, she set up a long-term contract with BGI to develop open-science international journals and publishing division.

ORCID ID: 0000-0001-9724-5976

Oya Y. Rieger is a senior strategist on Ithaka S+R’s Libraries, Scholarly Communication, and Museums team. She spearheads projects that reexamine the curation and preservation missions of cultural heritage organizations and explore sustainability models for open scholarship. Prior to joining Ithaka S+R, Rieger served as Associate University Librarian at Cornell University Library overseeing digital scholarship, preservation, collection development and scholarly publishing programs. As digital preservation has been a central point of her 25-year career, she has contributed to a range of international initiatives to design, develop, and assess digital preservation initiatives and training programs. With a B.A in Economics (Middle East Technical University, Turkey), she holds an M.S. in Public Administration (University of Oklahoma, US), an M.S. in Information Systems (Columbia University, US), and a Ph.D. in Human-Computer Interaction (Cornell University, US).