Paper: Program Description Abstract
Biomedical Preprints and the Future of Scholarly Communication: The Librarian's Role
Monday, May 6
3:05 PM - 3:20 PM
Room: Columbus GH (East Tower, Ballroom/Gold Level)
Cushing/Whitney Medical Library, Yale University
New Haven, Connecticut
Collection Development & Scholarly Communication Librarian
Research and education librarian
New Haven, Connecticut
Background : In the physical sciences, preprint servers are well established and are facilitating rapid dissemination of new findings. In the biomedical sciences, preprints have lagged, partly due to concerns about human health. The launch of medRxiv portends growth in the use of preprints in medicine and a new era of openness, discoverability, and impact for preprints. In order to advise and guide our clientele, librarians must be versed in the advantages of biomedical preprints and should understand the role such articles play within the larger scholarly communication ecosystem and our own research.
Description : As the dissemination of medical research through preprints evolves, medical librarians can contextualize preprints in the larger ecosystem of scholarly communication, along with trial registrations, pre-registered protocols, conference papers, open data, and peer-reviewed journal articles. Medical librarians at Yale anticipate the further integration of biomedical preprints in many services we already provide. We recommend and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of preprints with authors. We suggest that authors include preprints in NIH applications and other records of scholarly impact. We advocate searching preprint servers when conducting systematic reviews. We help students and researchers develop information literacy skills to critically appraise preprints. We have started depositing complex search strategies and other interim research projects of our own on Open Science Framework, as part of our commitment to openness and reproducibility.
Conclusion : Biomedical preprints are poised to become common in the health sciences, providing a new mechanism by which researchers share, communicate, and receive feedback about their work. Librarians will need to be familiar with the use of preprints and be able to position them in the general – and quickly evolving – world of scholarly communication. Librarians will also benefit from understanding how preprint servers can help their own work and underscore a commitment to open access.