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Gates Foundation mandates preprints

Gates Foundation mandates preprints


The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has announced that it will require all researchers to publish preprint papers resulting from research it funds.

The foundation, the nation's largest philanthropic organization, will also no longer pay article processing charges (APCs) that open access journals typically charge for publishing peer-reviewed research. Ending support for these fees will help address the inequities in the current publishing model and reinvest that money elsewhere, the foundation said in a statement.

The foundation says authors will still be able to publish their papers in journals of their choice, but the focus on preprints will ensure that their research is made publicly available before the journal publishes the completed paper. It is said that it will become. The foundation also plans to encourage peer review of preprints, but details have not been disclosed.

Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe, a professor and research professional development coordinator at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, said Gates Foundation-funded researchers have been unable to find other ways to pay for APCs and academics that charge fees. He says he is concerned that he will not be able to publish papers in journals.

Given that such journals are now preferred vehicles in some fields, authors are likely to be dissatisfied with this, especially if they have previously received APC payments from Gates, she said. says.

The policy change, which is scheduled to take effect in 2025, has sparked a debate on social media about fairer and more sustainable publishing practices.

In 2015, the Gates Foundation announced a then-bold open access policy that the organization said prioritized access, transparency, and equity in the research it funded. At the time, the move was praised by open access advocates.

Now, nearly a decade later, the foundation has changed its tune, and open access in its current form means unchecked pricing, peer review of dubious quality, and tons of substandard paper and fake material. They argue that it has led to objectionable publishing practices, such as the organization of paper mills that produce paper. Study in exchange for tuition fees.

Richard Thurber, assistant director of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press and co-founder of the preprint server bioRxiv, said the preprint policy supports Plan U and that Plan U is a funder. This is an approach they proposed in 2019 to speed up access to research through mandatory preprints. . The fact that a big name like Gates is doing this will make more people think seriously about what the future of peer review should look like, he says.




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