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The Preprint: Integrating the Form into the Scholarly Ecosystem

Virtual Conference

About the Virtual Conference

According to Wikipedia, the preprint is a “version of a scholarly or scientific paper that precedes publication in a peer-reviewed scholarly or scientific journal”. Preprint archives, such as arXiv and SSRN, rapidly achieved prominence in both the hard and social sciences as rapid access to new work became a priority. It’s wonderful to have those platforms, but what are best practices for libraries and other content providers in working with them? Should preprints be assigned DOIs? What relationship should exist between pre-prints and discovery services? What is the interoperability with link resolvers like? What are the implications for citation practices?

This event will have a Training Thursday event associated with it. 

Event Sessions

11:00 - 11:15am  Welcome and Introduction


11:15 am - 11:45 am Preprints: A Journey Through Time


Gregg Gordon

President and CEO
Social Science Research Network (SSRN)

This session will feature a speaker well-qualified to address:

  • Overview of the preprint and its acceptance in the research workflow;
  • Potential challenges for researchers in using those preprints;
  • How such versions of articles should be viewed and/or leveraged by those supporting the research process

11:45 am - 12:15 pm  Professional ethics requirements for publishing on preprint servers


As preprint servers evolve from highly specialized niches for researcher groups to research resources for larger audiences and communities, users will become increasingly concerned about the validity and integrity of the materials posted on such sites. To date preprint servers have lagged behind journals in terms of formal and professional publishing ethics policies and processes, perhaps relying overmuch on the sense of community that helped to create and sustain the site in the first place.  Preprint servers should consider as part of their evolution the incorporation of feedback and accountability mechanisms, generally in ways that parallel the ethics processes and policies that have developed for journals.

12:15pm  - 12:45 pm  Interim Research Products at NIH


Neil Thakur

Special Assistant to the Deputy Director for Extramural Research
National Institutes of Health

Interim research products are complete research products that are made public before they are final. They are created in order to increase the impact and rigor of a research study. They might be in draft form, like a preprint, or they may be a step in an ongoing study made public, like a preregistered study protocol.  This presentation will describe NIH’s current interim research product policy (, including standards for citing interim research products in NIH applications and reports, and guidance for selecting repositories. It will also provide results from the 2016 request for information that helped drive this policy.



12:45 - 1:45 Lunch Break

1:45 - 2:15  Preprints and the Research Workflow:


OSF Preprints offers a growing collection (18 as of 2/1/18) of branded community-run services that serve to open and improve transparency of research outputs. In addition to improving the accessibility of scholarship and facilitating timely feedback on scholarship,
 OSF Preprints uses SHARE to aggregate search results from a variety of other preprint providers such as arXivbiorXivPeerJCogPrints and others. Over two million preprints are indexed and can be searched by a variety of parameters. The entire service is built on the flagship, which offers free and open source project management support for researchers across the entire research lifecycle. As a result, preprint contributors can easily connect supplemental data, materials, or code across a variety of commonly used services that many authors already use for efficient access and sharing. OSF provides tools for collaboration, preregistration of research plans, long term archiving, and project organization tools to help control access and availability of materials that can be linked to the scholarly record.  The presentation will show examples of this connected workflow, how these diverse services form a cohesive and linked infrastructure, future plans to further link preprints to traditional publishing workflows, and how these communities are forming to take an active role in the future of scholarly communication through preprints.

2:15 - 2:45 The Central Role of Scholarly Societies in Preprints


Darla Henderson

Assistant Director, Open Access Programs, ACS Publications
American Chemical Society

Preprints as a form of scholarly communication have been around for more than 25 years, with arXiv as a successful exemplar for the sciences. With scientists quick to embrace other transitions in online communication, why are preprints only now more broadly embraced across the sciences? What role can societies play in the launch, growth, and support of preprint servers?  How can preprint servers be a successful, sustainable part of the scholarly communication cycle?

The American Chemical Society (ACS) recently led the coordinated launch of ChemRxiv, a preprint server for the chemistry community. Dr. Henderson, business owner and lead for ChemRxiv, will explain how the ACS transitioned from an organization with little involvement in preprint servers to leading the launch of a technologically advanced community-specific preprint server in a matter of months. She will share the challenges faced by the society in this transition, lessons learned, and explain how the ACS sees preprints as contributing to their core mission as a society.

2:45 - 3:15 Preprints in Biology and Medicine


The public release of research papers before peer review (“preprint posting”) has become more frequent in the biological sciences in the past 5 years and the value of the practice for clinically related research is beginning to be discussed.  bioRxiv is Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory’s preprint server for the biological sciences, and the soon-to-be-launched medRxiv will be its equivalent in the health sciences.  This presentation will describe the development and current status of these initiatives and their evolving roles in the ecosystem of scholarly communication.

3:15 - 3:30   Afternoon Break

3:30 - 4:00 p.m. arXiv: Principles, Sustainability, and Future

Speaker is acknowledged as one of the most successful OA preprint repositories. It has transformed scientific communication in multiple fields of physics and plays an increasingly prominent role in mathematics, computer science, quantitative biology, quantitative finance, and statistics. The presentation will describe the role of arXiv, its organizational and governance model, and the current challenges and opportunities involved in its operation.  Also, it will discuss the main goals of the next-gen arXiv (arXiv-NG) initiative, which aims to strengthen the 26-year old service's technical infrastructure and business model. arXiv, as a socio-technical system, consists of technical infrastructures, scholarly workflows, curatorial policies, and the social arrangements and organizations that provide it with a structural framework. Therefore, arXiv-NG initiative involves a range of issues extending from architectural choices to sustainability requirements, and from policy issues to governance matters.

4:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. Going Green: Preprints, Repositories, and the Indiana University Open Access Policy.


In February of 2017, Indiana University Bloomington passed an Open Access Policy. This presentation will address the Indiana University Libraries’ approach to supporting green open access publishing in their institutional repository in light of this policy. It will include a discussion of minting Crossref preprint DOIs, implementing a new CERN-based repository alongside an existing DSpace instance, and processing citations from faculty annual reports to prepare them for ingest in the repository. It will describe the rationale, challenges, milestones, and future work related to publishing preprints at Indiana University.


4:30 - 5:00 pm.  Round-Robin Wrap-Up Discussion


Additional Information

  • Cancellations made by February 7, 2018 will receive a refund, less a $35 cancellation. After that date, there are no refunds.

  • Registrants will receive detailed instructions about accessing the virtual conference via e-mail the Friday prior to the event. (Anyone registering between Monday and the close of registration will receive the message shortly after the registration is received, within normal business hours.) Due to the widespread use of spam blockers, filters, out of office messages, etc., it is your responsibility to contact the NISO office if you do not receive login instructions before the start of the webinar.

  • If you have not received your Login Instruction e-mail by 10 a.m. (ET) on the day before the virtual conference, please contact the NISO office at for immediate assistance.

  • Registration is per site (access for one computer) and includes access to the online recorded archive of the conference. You may have as many people as you like from the registrant's organization view the conference from that one connection. If you need additional connections, you will need to enter a separate registration for each connection needed.

  • If you are registering someone else from your organization, either use that person's e-mail address when registering or contact to provide alternate contact information.

  • Conference presentation slides and Q&A will be posted to this event webpage following the live conference.

  • Registrants will receive an e-mail message containing access information to the archived conference recording within 48 hours after the event. This recording access is only to be used by the registrant's organization.

For Online Events

  • You will need a computer for the presentation and Q&A.

  • NISO uses the Zoom USA platform for delivery of its virtual event. Audio is available through the computer (broadcast) and by telephone. We recommend you have a set-up for telephone audio as back-up even if you plan to use the broadcast audio as the voice over Internet isn't always 100% reliable.

It is your responsibility to ensure that your system is properly set up before each webinar begins.