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      Is Open Access

      Peer review and preprint policies are unclear at most major journals

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          Abstract

          Clear and findable publishing policies are important for authors to choose appropriate journals for publication. We investigated the clarity of policies of 171 major academic journals across disciplines regarding peer review and preprinting. 31.6% of journals surveyed do not provide information on the type of peer review they use. Information on whether preprints can be posted or not is unclear in 39.2% of journals. 58.5% of journals offer no clear information on whether reviewer identities are revealed to authors. Around 75% of journals have no clear policy on co-reviewing, citation of preprints, and publication of reviewer identities. Information regarding practices of open peer review is even more scarce, with <20% of journals providing clear information. Having found a lack of clear information, we conclude by examining the implications this has for researchers (especially early career) and the spread of open research practices.

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              How open science helps researchers succeed

              Open access, open data, open source and other open scholarship practices are growing in popularity and necessity. However, widespread adoption of these practices has not yet been achieved. One reason is that researchers are uncertain about how sharing their work will affect their careers. We review literature demonstrating that open research is associated with increases in citations, media attention, potential collaborators, job opportunities and funding opportunities. These findings are evidence that open research practices bring significant benefits to researchers relative to more traditional closed practices. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.16800.001
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: Data curationRole: Formal analysisRole: InvestigationRole: MethodologyRole: VisualizationRole: Writing – original draftRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: Data curationRole: InvestigationRole: Writing – original draftRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: ConceptualizationRole: Data curationRole: InvestigationRole: MethodologyRole: ResourcesRole: Writing – original draftRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: Data curationRole: InvestigationRole: MethodologyRole: Writing – original draftRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: InvestigationRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: InvestigationRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: ConceptualizationRole: Funding acquisitionRole: InvestigationRole: MethodologyRole: Project administrationRole: SupervisionRole: Writing – original draftRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: Editor
                Journal
                PLoS One
                PLoS One
                plos
                plosone
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, CA USA )
                1932-6203
                21 October 2020
                2020
                : 15
                : 10
                : e0239518
                Affiliations
                [1 ] Know-Center GmbH, Graz, Austria
                [2 ] Institute of Interactive Systems and Data Science, Graz University of Technology, Graz, Austria
                [3 ] ASAPbio, San Francisco, California, United States of America
                [4 ] Lightoller LLC, Chicago, Illinois, United States of America
                [5 ] eLife Sciences Publications Ltd, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom
                [6 ] Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, bioRxiv, Cold Spring Harbor, New York, United States of America
                Universitat de Valencia, SPAIN
                Author notes

                Competing Interests: Gary McDowell works at a for-profit that provides consulting services to organizations addressing issues concerning early career researchers. Samantha Hindle is Content Lead at bioRxiv, a preprint server for the biological sciences. Tony Ross-Hellauer is formerly Editor-in-Chief of the journal “Publications” (ISSN 2304-6775).

                Author information
                http://orcid.org/0000-0002-7331-4751
                http://orcid.org/0000-0003-1544-5064
                http://orcid.org/0000-0001-6610-9293
                http://orcid.org/0000-0002-9470-3799
                http://orcid.org/0000-0003-0568-1194
                http://orcid.org/0000-0002-3708-3546
                http://orcid.org/0000-0003-4470-7027
                Article
                PONE-D-20-10194
                10.1371/journal.pone.0239518
                7577440
                33085678
                a70cd406-29e9-429e-ad0e-fbb87481ee1d
                © 2020 Klebel et al

                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.

                History
                : 9 April 2020
                : 9 September 2020
                Page count
                Figures: 7, Tables: 1, Pages: 19
                Funding
                The authors received no specific funding for this work.
                Categories
                Research Article
                Medicine and Health Sciences
                Medical Humanities
                Medical Journals
                Research and Analysis Methods
                Research Assessment
                Peer Review
                Science Policy
                Research and Analysis Methods
                Scientific Publishing
                Social Sciences
                Social Sciences
                Economics
                Labor Economics
                Employment
                Careers
                Research and Analysis Methods
                Research Assessment
                Peer Review
                Open Peer Review
                Social Sciences
                Sociology
                Social Policy
                Custom metadata
                All files are available at http://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3743092.

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