Tag Archives: peer review

The wonderful new trend of ‘peer review’ threads on Twitter

Twitter screenshotI’ve used Twitter since 2008, but never has it been more vital to my work and news diet than throughout 2020, and continuing into this year. The discussions by physicians, infectious disease experts and epidemiologists about SARS-CoV-2, COVID-19 and the pandemic, in general, has been invaluable for a journalist covering these topics. It’s hard to pick one favorite thing about the evolution of Twitter discourse since the pandemic has begun, but definitely high on the list is the trend of peer review threads on the site.

Peer review is the process by which journal papers are reviewed for quality, clarity, usefulness and robustness by other researchers in the field before publication. Preprints are papers that have not yet gone through peer review. But anyone who covers medical research knows that simply having been peer-reviewed is no guarantee that a paper really is high-quality or deserved to be published. (Spend some time at Retraction Watch for all the evidence you need.) Continue reading

Beware the preprint in covering coronavirus research

If it wasn’t difficult enough to keep up with the flood of scientific papers about COVID-19 and the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus that causes the disease, there are also all the preprints to keep up with. A preprint is a full draft of a research study shared online before going through peer review. Most often, it’s published on a dedicated preprint site (typically hosted by journals, research institutions or open access/open science networks) where other researchers can leave comments in a sort of community peer review. Continue reading

Get ready to cover the coming tide of clinical research preprints

The bread and butter of medical research reporting traditionally has been coverage of peer-reviewed studies. However, some new kids are threatening to elbow their way into the conversation and reporters should be prepared.

Preprints aren’t exactly new to scientific research in general, but are a recent phenomenon within biological research and rapidly growing, according to graphs at PrePubMed, a preprint aggregator and indexer similar to but unaffiliated with PubMed. Preprints also are making their way into medical/clinical research. Continue reading