Thursday, March 22, 2012

Calling all computational biologists - do as C. Titus Brown does - submit your pubs to arXiv

Can I just express my love/respect for C. Titus Brown?  Not only is he into openness in science and metagenomics and such.  But he practices what he preaches.  For example see - Daily Life in an Ivory Basement : /mar-12/diginorm-paper-posted in which he describes his new submission to arXiv and some background.  I know I am big on Open Access and all, but even we have been lame about submitting things to preprint servers like arXiv.  Gonne do my best to fix that and try and copy Titus.


  1. What are the implications for this for actual publication? I know the physicists are cool with this, but even PLoS ONE says that things have to not be published elsewhere first. Does arXiv not count as "published elsewhere"?

  2. PLoS ONE has an exception for preprint servers (see under section 15. However one has to be careful not to publicise your paper too much which I think could be a bit tricky if it gets picked up by some place. Most of the other big journals have a similar kind of policy.

  3. I am an associate editor at PLoS ONE, and as Nick said, PLoS ONE will consider submissions that have already been posted on pre-print servers. The publicity issue is separate and will not be considered when making editorial decisions about submitted manuscripts.

  4. Are there any caveats? It's certainly great for Open Science, but I could also imagine preprint archives + blog posts used to shill for publication acceptance, especially in a secondary submission of a rejected paper.

    That's not what Titus is doing, but I could imagine that some authors might try to game the process along those lines.

    1. No caveats for PLoS ONE at this point, but it's an interesting point.

  5. I'm curious, what if you were able to submit to a genomics preprint server? Would you submit there instead? Is arXiv the place for genomics research, or would a repository closer to your subject area be a better place to do so, in the log run?


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