Day/Time: Thursday, May 13, 2:45 PM to 3:45 PM


  • Lisa Schiff, Associate Director, Publishing, Archives, and Digitization, California Digital Library, University of California
  • Juan Pablo Alperin, Co-director of the ScholCommLab; Associate Director of Research of the Public Knowledge Project; Assistant Professor in the School of Publishing at Simon Fraser University, Canada
  • Bruce Caron, Co-Founder, EarthArXiv; Founder, New Media Studio and the New Media Research Institute, Santa Barbara
  • Martin Paul Eve, Project Lead for Janeway; Co-Director, Open Library of the Humanities; Project Lead for Janeway; Professor of Literature, Technology and Publishing at Birkbeck, University of London
  • Alex Mendonça, Online Submission & Preprints Coordinator, SciELO Brazil


Preprints are an increasingly important component of the scholarly record and preprint platforms have correspondingly grown in number. Academic communities value preprints for the opportunity to share early findings with peers and receive immediate feedback on not-yet-reviewed works. With the COVID pandemic, a broader audience is turning to preprints, as political leaders, journalists, and the public seek new information about the virus. Complications arise, however, when the unvetted nature of these works is not clearly signaled alongside discussions of their findings. In late 2020, Rick Anderson captured these concerns, highlighting cases where discredited preprints remained available to read, presenting a potential for misinformation. Anderson posited that preprint platform providers, not just editors, should ensure adequate preprint vetting and be willing to retract them.

With the availability of two new open-source preprint platforms–PKP’s Open Preprint Systems (OPS) and Birkback’s Janeway preprint server–library publishers now have familiar, robust infrastructure for entering this space and are a logical home for such services, especially given a strong commitment to a specific research community. But what additional responsibilities must we accept–if any–as publishers of this genre? Should we establish terms for vetting of submissions? Without adequate domain knowledge, how would we enforce, or even audit, such terms? How do we indicate that a specific preprint’s findings have not yet been formally accepted? What about obligations regarding debunked publications? What are the responsibilities of platform providers, publishers, and editors? Should library publishers, as a community of practice, expand on the proposed best practices related to preprint metadata to ensure we are responsible actors in providing access to early research?

Panelists will explore these questions during the session’s first half, and invite attendee participation for the second. Registered attendees will receive an advance survey regarding current/planned preprint publishing, in order to identify additional discussion topics.