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Preprints and published articles

A study led by researchers from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) compared preliminary scientific manuscripts shared on preprint repositories with their final versions published in scientific journals after peer review. The group concluded that in the sample studied, the impact of the peer-review process on the quality of the papers was small. They evaluated 56 articles on genetics and neuroscience posted on the bioRxiv repository in 2016. According to the study, peer review corrected an average of just one fault per article (bioRxiv, March 19). The job of the reviewers is to analyze the robustness of the results and methods used in a scientific paper and to suggest improvements before publication. The authors of the preprint recognize that the methodology used is not able to assess all dimensions of the review process, suggesting that the findings may serve as a useful parameter for large-scale studies of the phenomenon. Another conclusion is that the results back up the notion that papers published as preprints should be considered valid scientific results, pharmacist Clarissa Carneiro, one of the authors of the study, told the journal Science.