Preprints Are Not Going to Replace Journals is by Haseeb Irfanullah, a biologist-turned-development practitioner. It appears on the Scholarly Kitchen website.
In the virtual 15th Conference of the European Association of Science Editors (EASE), a debate was held on the motion: Preprints are going to replace journals. I was asked to oppose the motion and this article is based on my arguments.
“First, we have certain expectations from an authentic published research communication. It should be based on research conducted following rigorous standards for research design, should be written in an accepted form, should be validated by peers from the same discipline, should be published formally, and should reach others to read and use for research impacts. Journal articles do meet these expectations.
“Preprints also meet most of these, but, before making preprints public, the validation part is totally missing. The meaning of the word ‘published’ has been changing due to digitalization, but, can we really call preprints ‘formally published’? Do they truly cross the line between unpublished and published? I would prefer to call preprints ‘research documents’ or ‘research communication’, but not formal research publications, like academic journal articles.
“I very much appreciate the importance of preprints as a ‘social construct’ of a particular discipline — as long as the researchers of a discipline use preprints and collectively appreciate their value in communicating research, preprints will continue having their own niche. But since preprints do not offer the same rigor and standards of journal articles, these two cannot switch places…”
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