'Plan U' for Mandatory Sharing of Pub Preprints

June 7, 2019

An essay in PLOS Biology argues that funding agencies should require grantees to post their papers on preprint servers such as arXiv and bioRxiv before submitting them to academic journals. Richard Sever and John Inglis of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, founders of bioRxiv, and co-author Mike Eisen, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and professor of genetics, genomics and development at the University of California, Berkeley, describe their “Plan U” proposal as a low-cost, faster alternative to the traditional academic publishing system.

In addition to increasing access to research, the authors argue that Plan U (for "universal") would allow the pace of research to accelerate, as peers would see and build on their colleagues' work sooner, instead of waiting months for it to be published. Moreover, the paper says, “the existence of all articles as preprints would create a fertile environment for experimentation with new peer review and research evaluation initiatives, which would benefit from a reduced barrier to entry because hosting and archiving costs were already covered.”

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