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      The prehistory of biology preprints: A forgotten experiment from the 1960s

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      PLoS Biology

      Public Library of Science

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          Abstract

          In 1961, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) began to circulate biological preprints in a forgotten experiment called the Information Exchange Groups (IEGs). This system eventually attracted over 3,600 participants and saw the production of over 2,500 different documents, but by 1967, it was effectively shut down following the refusal of journals to accept articles that had been circulated as preprints. This article charts the rise and fall of the IEGs and explores the parallels with the 1990s and the biomedical preprint movement of today.

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          Most cited references 45

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          Collaboration in an invisible college.

           D. Price,  D D Beaver (1966)
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            Accelerating Scientific Publication in Biology

            Scientific publications enable results and ideas to be transmitted throughout the scientific community. The number and type of journal publications also have become the primary criteria used in evaluating career advancement. Our analysis suggests that publication practices have changed considerably in the life sciences over the past thirty years. More experimental data is now required for publication, and the average time required for graduate students to publish their first paper has increased and is approaching the desirable duration of Ph.D. training. Since publication is generally a requirement for career progression, schemes to reduce the time of graduate student and postdoctoral training may be difficult to implement without also considering new mechanisms for accelerating communication of their work. The increasing time to publication also delays potential catalytic effects that ensue when many scientists have access to new information. The time has come for life scientists, funding agencies, and publishers to discuss how to communicate new findings in a way that best serves the interests of the public and the scientific community.
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              ArXiv at 20.

               Paul Ginsparg (2011)
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                PLoS Biol
                PLoS Biol
                plos
                plosbiol
                PLoS Biology
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, CA USA )
                1544-9173
                1545-7885
                16 November 2017
                November 2017
                16 November 2017
                : 15
                : 11
                Affiliations
                School of Biological Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom
                Author notes

                The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

                Article
                pbio.2003995
                10.1371/journal.pbio.2003995
                5690419
                29145518
                © 2017 Matthew Cobb

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

                Page count
                Figures: 3, Tables: 0, Pages: 12
                Product
                Funding
                Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory http://library.cshl.edu/personal-collections/sydney-brenner/sydney-brenner-scholarship. Sydney Brenner Research Scholarship. The funder had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
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