The revolutionaries were too early.

The movement to make biology papers freely available before they have been peer-reviewed, let alone published in a reputable journal, finally succeeded in 2013, when bioRxiv (pronounced bio-archive) was launched by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. But 50 years before, the National Institutes of Health tried something similar: distributing unpublished scientific papers, or preprints, to a handpicked group of leading researchers.

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  • >The preprint system has worked so well in basic biomedical research that bioRxiv plans to launch a preprint site for clinical trials and epidemiology, Sever said. It will be a partership between Cold Spring Harbor Lab and Yale University, he said, and should go live in 2018.

    The prerequisite to making this a meaningful effort will be to get clinical trial investigators and funders to report their results at all.

  • Have you overlooked Academia.edu and Researchgate.net? Many reports on those sites meet any definition of “preprint.” It is common for authors to submit descriptions of work in progress seeking comments that will help them surmount problems impeding progress. FDN

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