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Comparing quality of reporting between preprints and peer-reviewed articles in the biomedical literature
Univ Fed Rio de Janeiro, Inst Med Biochem Leopoldo de Meis, BR-21941902 Rio De Janeiro, RJ, Brazil..
Univ Fed Rio de Janeiro, Inst Med Biochem Leopoldo de Meis, BR-21941902 Rio De Janeiro, RJ, Brazil..
Univ Fed Rio de Janeiro, Inst Med Biochem Leopoldo de Meis, BR-21941902 Rio De Janeiro, RJ, Brazil..
Inst Evandro Chagas, Secao Arbovirol & Febres Hemorrag, Ananindeua, Para, Brazil.;Univ Estado Para, Dept Patol, Belem, Para, Brazil.;Ctr Univ Metropolitano Amazonia, Inst Euro Amer Educ Ciencia & Tecnol, Belem, Para, Brazil..
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2020 (English)In: RESEARCH INTEGRITY AND PEER REVIEW, ISSN 2058-8615, Vol. 5, no 1, article id 16Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background Preprint usage is growing rapidly in the life sciences; however, questions remain on the relative quality of preprints when compared to published articles. An objective dimension of quality that is readily measurable is completeness of reporting, as transparency can improve the reader's ability to independently interpret data and reproduce findings. Methods In this observational study, we initially compared independent samples of articles published in bioRxiv and in PubMed-indexed journals in 2016 using a quality of reporting questionnaire. After that, we performed paired comparisons between preprints from bioRxiv to their own peer-reviewed versions in journals. Results Peer-reviewed articles had, on average, higher quality of reporting than preprints, although the difference was small, with absolute differences of 5.0% [95% CI 1.4, 8.6] and 4.7% [95% CI 2.4, 7.0] of reported items in the independent samples and paired sample comparison, respectively. There were larger differences favoring peer-reviewed articles in subjective ratings of how clearly titles and abstracts presented the main findings and how easy it was to locate relevant reporting information. Changes in reporting from preprints to peer-reviewed versions did not correlate with the impact factor of the publication venue or with the time lag from bioRxiv to journal publication. Conclusions Our results suggest that, on average, publication in a peer-reviewed journal is associated with improvement in quality of reporting. They also show that quality of reporting in preprints in the life sciences is within a similar range as that of peer-reviewed articles, albeit slightly lower on average, supporting the idea that preprints should be considered valid scientific contributions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
BMC , 2020. Vol. 5, no 1, article id 16
Keywords [en]
Quality of reporting, Preprint, Peer review, Publication, bioRxiv, Scientific journal
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-429059DOI: 10.1186/s41073-020-00101-3ISI: 000595283600001PubMedID: 33292815OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-429059DiVA, id: diva2:1512029
Available from: 2020-12-21 Created: 2020-12-21 Last updated: 2021-01-18Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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