Quality and reliability of preprints

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It was an honor and pleasure to see AfricArXIv represented by our advisory board member Joa Owango :smiley:
At AfricArXiv, we are struggling to technologically align our currently 6 repositories, the NISO community could help us catalyze that…


I am wondering what key changes those of us hosting preprint servers, institutional repositories, and publishing platforms (library based publishing in my institution’s case) should be thinking about to help surface research and researchers from African nations. Joy highlighted local institutional affiliation and diverse language support–are those the two most important to begin with?

For Joy: With the understanding that Africa is far from being a monolith in any regard, what is your view on how African institutions have accepted the preprint trend? Do they generally support their authors taking this route before publication? At Research Square, we get quite a lot of preprints from Ethiopia in particular and occasional there are requests to withdraw due to issues at institutions (this happens frequently with authors in China as well).

For Katie: You mentioned NIH uses four different systems to match up preprints with new versions and VoRs. Can you elaborate on those? This has been a difficult problem for preprint servers and CrossRef due to non-exact matches (titles and authors), particularly with the journal-published versions. Has NIH found a more robust mechanism via the 4 systems?

Hi Michele, we’re using Crossref, bioRxiv’s API, Europe PMC, and our own internal system. Anecdotally (I haven’t crunched the numbers) the latter two are the main sources of the links, likely because these are automated workflows based on title/author/abstract comparisons and don’t rely on an assertion being made by a data provider or author. (Jumping off now, but happy to pick up any follow ups this evening)

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