The importance of a preprint repository

On-line communication is changing the way in which scientific research is communicated and reviewed. Dissemination has become easy and fast, and established journals with deliberate reviewing processes are becoming a means for validation, and not so much for dissemination, of research results. Since the best of journals do retract papers for fraudulent or fabricated data, the model of quick dissemination of preprints followed by review and cross-checks by all interested subject experts, does present an alternate to limited pre-publication reviews imposed by academic journals. The profitability of academic journals is also being discussed , as the more traditional journals are funded by subscriptions from libraries of research institutions, while open access publishing is heavily funded by grants received by the authors. In India, both routes can, in most cases, eventually be traced back to funding from the Government. Discussion of the economic aspects is beyond the scope of this note, except to emphasize that dissemination by preprint servers is free to readers as also, so far, to authors.

Read the full article in Current Science