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The performance of COVID-19 preprints

Just over half of COVID-19 preprints uploaded in 2020 were later accepted for publication in scientific journals, according to a survey by researchers from teaching and research institutions in Austria, Denmark, and Spain. Preprints are scientific papers published on open-access platforms as soon as they are written, before undergoing any peer-review process. Led by physician Carl Llor of the University of Southern Denmark, the authors studied 3,343 COVID-19 preprints uploaded to the medRxiv repository between January and December 2020. They went back to these papers in March 2022 and found that only 1,712 (51.2%) had undergone peer review and been published in specialist journals (Jama Network Open, December 8). The team repeated the analysis seven months later and found that the number of preprints accepted for publication had risen to 1,742 (52.1%).