P 3.1

Fast communication: preprints, peer-review, continuous publishing

2018.09.26 — 14:00-15:30


Free and open access, transparent assessment and dissemination of research in a fast, shared, collaborative, participative and clear manner for all of society are some of the principles of Open Science. The recognition and adoption of open research practices is growing, including new policies that increase public access to scholarly literature and encourage openness of codes and data sharing for its reproduction. Among these initiatives which are reconfiguring scientific communication, preprints have been consolidating themselves as a promising space for free, open and transparent knowledge, streamlining the editorial process. Preprints are the first formal step in making the manuscripts publicly available before being approved by a journal.

The logics of publishing based on science guiding principles have always been in the decision-making power of the editor. From the choice of referees to the distribution of articles approved in publishing editions, the time management to publish keeping quality, periodicity and celerity regarding feedback on the output was always a challenge to editors. Moreover, this time management becomes an even greater challenge to the publishing process in Brazil, and in some parts of Latin America, whose journals’ management is mainly based on voluntary work. Given this scenario, initiatives that seek to make scientific communication faster and more transparent appear as solutions to the daily difficulties of scientific publishing, such as, for instance, preprints, continuous publication and open peer review.

In view of this new reconfiguration of the editorial process, this panel aims to discuss the panorama of fast and transparent scientific communication, seeking to share experiences that have been developed that respond to the editorial demands on the management of time and quality of the papers published in scientific journals and, particularly, to support the development of the SciELO Program preprints policy.


The challenges of scientific publishing and editorial ethics regarding time management and quality; initiatives for fast research communication; metrics and alternative indicators of scientific visibility; preprints and continuous communication experience in the national and international scenario; editorial dynamics of preprints and its models in the market; the demands of the continuous publication flow; open modalities of peer review: peer-review, open peer-review, and crowd-based peer review; the spaces of fast communication in scholarly social platforms.

How to contribute

You are invited to participate and cooperate with the SciELO 20 Years celebration with comments, testimonies, blog posts, articles, etc, related to the topic of this or other panels.



Preprint: complete scientific manuscript that is deposited by the authors on a public server. The preprint contains complete data and methodologies; it is often the same manuscript that is being submitted to a journal (…). After a brief quality control inspection to ensure that the work is scientific in nature, the author’s manuscript is published on the Web within approximately a day without undergoing peer review and can be freely viewed by anyone worldwide. Based on feedback and/or new data, new versions of the preprint can be submitted; however, earlier versions of the preprint are also retained.
For more information, visit the Preprint info center. What is a preprint? [online] ASAPbio. 2016 [viewed 16 February 2017]. Available from: http://asapbio.org/preprint-info

Ahead of Print: Modality of advanced publication of articles made by the editor as soon as the manuscript is approved by the journal’s evaluation system. That is, articles are published separately before assembling the volumes, in order to contribute to the advancement of scientific research through the rapid communication of results.
For more information on Ahead of Print, visit the Guidelines to Advanced Ahead of Print (AOP) Publishing in SciELO: http://www.scielo.org/local/File/Guia_AOP.pdf

Continuous Publishing: publication modality of digital journals that precludes waiting for the complete assembling of new volumes or serial editions. As it is approved, the diagrammed manuscript is published in the journal’s current year volume. It also aims to promote celerity in the communication process and research availability. Unlike Ahead of Print, which will be later migrated to a volume or issue, continuous publishing is individual and definitive. Namely, the article receives a number, usually sequential, without necessarily being subscribed to in a specific edition. In this continuous mode, the articles are organized in a single volume, which usually coincides with the calendar year.
Access the Guide for Continuous Publishing of articles in SciELO journals: http://www.scielo.org/local/Image/guiarpass.pdf

Continuous Flow (submission): It does not refer to a publication modality, but to the reception of articles without being conditioned to specific calls for a certain edition with closed submission deadline.

Double-blind peer review: In this type of evaluation, editors do not disclose the personal identities of authors and reviewers. It is the most common type of assessment among scientific journals, being considered the most effective by 76% of researchers interviewed in a study by Mulligan, et al. in 2009.1

Simple-blind peer review: In the simple blind system, the reviewer is aware of the author’s identity, but the author does not know the reviewers’ identity.

Open peer review: is a general term for several options for evaluation models that include the possibility of:

Opening of the identities of the authors and referees in the evaluation process itself. That is, they both know each other’s identities, even if the reader is not aware of this information. In this modality, open interaction between authors and reviewers may be encouraged.

Publication of the communication between referees and authors  in the final article. In this evaluation mode, reviews are made publicly available in the article itself, including the reviewer’s identity in case of approval. The author may become aware of the his/her identity either during the assessment process or only after the final publication of the manuscript.

Public participation in the evaluation process on open platforms or preprint repositories, or after the publication of the manuscript, with the possibility of publishing comments regarding the research.

Peer Review by endorsement (PRE): This model requires an author to request peer reviews prior to submission in order to assess the suitability of a manuscript for publication. To avoid any personal bias of the endorsement requested by the author, both the identities of the reviewers and the endorsements are made publicly available alongside the manuscripts. For more information, visit: http://theparachute.blogspot.com/2015/08/peer-review-by-endorsement.html

Crowd-based Peer Review: initiative by Benjamin List, director of the Max Planck Institute, in Germany, and editor-in-chief of the journal Synlett, that includes a protected digital platform in which 100 expert reviewers could read and comment on submissions as well as comments from fellow reviewers2.

Fast-track: Publication mode that occurs after a journal editor’s evaluation is made publicly available in the journal while being peer-reviewed.


1. MULLIGAN, A., HALL, L., and RAPHAEL, E. Peer Review in a changing world: an international study measuring the attitudes of researchers. J. Am. Soc. Inf. Sci. Technol. 2013, vol. 64, nº 1, pp. 132-161. DOI: 10.1002/asi.22798

2. LIST, Benjamin. Crowd-based peer review can be good and fast. Nature News, v. 546, n. 7656, p. 9, 2017.


CHAWLA, D. S. Do publishers add value? Maybe little, suggests preprint study of preprints. Retraction Watch [online]. 24 june 2016 [viewed 10 July 2018]. Available from:https://retractionwatch.com/2016/06/24/do-publishers-add-value-maybe-little-suggests-preprint-study-of-preprints/

CURRY, S. Peer review, preprints and the speed of science. The Guardian [online]. ©2015. Updated 9 may 2017 [viewed 10 July 2018]. Available from: https://www.theguardian.com/science/occams-corner/2015/sep/07/peer-review-preprints-speed-science-journals

MUELLER, A. The Case for Open Review. Inside Higher Ed [online]. 16 may 2017 [viewed 10 July 2018]. Available from: https://www.insidehighered.com/views/2016/05/16/open-peer-review-journal-articles-offers-significant-benefits-essay

NASSI-CALÒ, L. Peer-review as a research topic in its own right. SciELO in Perspective [online]. 2015 [viewed 10 July 2018]. Available from: https://blog.scielo.org/en/2015/04/24/peer-review-as-a-research-topic-in-its-own-right/

TENNANT, J., et al. The evolving preprint landscape: Introductory report for the Knowledge Exchange working group on preprints. BITSS Preprints [preprint]. May 21, 2018. Available from: doi: 10.17605/OSF.IO/796TU.

VELTEROP, J. Science (which needs communication) first, careers (which need selectivity) later. SciELO in Perspective [online]. 2015 [viewed 10 July 2018]. Available from:https://blog.scielo.org/en/2015/10/29/science-which-needs-communication-first-careers-which-need-selectivity-later/


OLIVEIRA, T. How long does it take to do science? The emergence of time in scholarly communication [online]. SciELO in Perspective, 2018 [viewed 06 July 2018]. Available from: https://blog.scielo.org/en/2018/07/06/how-long-does-it-take-to-do-science-the-emergence-of-time-in-scholarly-communication/

VELTEROP, J. Communication and peer review should be universally separated [online]. SciELO in Perspective, 2018 [viewed 25 May 2018]. Available from: https://blog.scielo.org/en/2018/05/25/communication-and-peer-review-should-be-universally-separated/

VELTEROP, J. What does a new approach mean (for journals, research councils)? [online]. SciELO in Perspective, 2018 [viewed 19 July 2018]. Available from: https://blog.scielo.org/en/2018/07/19/what-does-a-new-approach-mean-for-journals-research-councils/


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