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Lightning talk

Promoting trust in preprints by linking peer reviews to preprints via Europe PMC

  • 26 September 2023 |
  • 16:00 |
  • Session 1 |
  • Main Auditorium

Europe PMC provides comprehensive access to life sciences literature from trusted sources; containing 42.1 million life science publications. Since 2018 Europe PMC has been indexing preprints and now indexes over half a million preprint abstracts from life sciences preprint servers, and over 40,000 full text preprints that are either related to Covid-19 or are funded by one of Europe PMC’s funders.

Peer review is the de facto process to determine whether an article is published in a journal. However, this process introduces delays to the publication process, is subject to bias, and is a binary decision that results in publication or the author approaching a new journal and repeating the process. This is generally done behind closed doors and without pre-printing this output remains hidden from the community until accepted by a journal for publication. Preprinting has sped up the process of releasing scientific outputs and preprint peer review is an emerging practice that allows reviews from independent researchers to help authors improve their manuscripts and provide readers with increased confidence in the findings reported in a preprint. It is done in the open, speeding up the dissemination of science as well as discussion around the scientific outputs.

Europe PMC has developed an open source parser to select relevant metadata available from DocMaps (A community-endorsed framework for capturing valuable context about the processes used to create documents in a machine-readable way) produced by Sciety (a preprint peer review aggregation platform) and Review Commons (a service to create high-quality peer review of preprints before journal submission) and will be pulling in the relevant information for display on Europe PMC.

This talk will discuss the benefits and potential advantages of this technology and our future plans to enhance trust in preprints via preprint peer review.



Melissa Harrison

Melissa Harrison is Group Team Leader, Literature Services at EMBL-EBI, managing Europe PMC and a data science team. She is a science graduate with over 20 years’ experience in STM publishing, a commitment to open science, and a vision for harnessing technology to improve the research process. Melissa was formerly Head of Production Operations at eLife, is Chair of JATS4R, has been a board member of Crossref, and has also contributed to the community via Force11 working groups, JATS4R recommendations and presentations at various conferences, such as Pidapalooza, NISO+, Force11 and JATScon.