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Table of Contents  
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 155-156  

Are preprints eligible for submission in medical journals following double-blind peer review?


1 Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care, Meenakshi Hospital, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Pediatric Cardiac Care, MIOT Hospitals, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Submission16-Apr-2021
Date of Acceptance23-May-2021
Date of Web Publication21-Jul-2021

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Vinodhadevi Vijayakumar
Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care, Meenakshi Hospital, Thanjavur - 613 005, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/aer.aer_60_21

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How to cite this article:
Vijayakumar V, Ganesamoorthi A, Srinivasan O. Are preprints eligible for submission in medical journals following double-blind peer review?. Anesth Essays Res 2021;15:155-6

How to cite this URL:
Vijayakumar V, Ganesamoorthi A, Srinivasan O. Are preprints eligible for submission in medical journals following double-blind peer review?. Anesth Essays Res [serial online] 2021 [cited 2021 Nov 30];15:155-6. Available from: https://www.aeronline.org/text.asp?2021/15/1/155/322064

Respected Editor,

Once the research article is deposited in preprint servers, details of the authors including corresponding author, along with their Open Researcher and contributor ID (ORCID) iD are displayed. ORCID iD is unique for each author, which displays their education, qualification, employment, and other works (publications). Posting a research article in a preprint server electronically is not considered as prior publication,[1],[2] and it can be submitted as manuscript in scientific journals.

Whether journals following double-blind peer review process can accept the preprint post is a matter for discussion and concern. During peer review process of such manuscript in a scientific medical journal, if the reviewer searches for similar content in the internet, one cannot miss the same research article deposited in preprint server, as preprint servers provide a Digital Object Identifier for all the articles deposited in them. Although knowing the details of the authors does not matter for a single-blind peer review process (where the reviewers are allowed to know the identity of the authors), exposing the details of the authors would nullify the very purpose of double-blind peer review process, which is seen as the highest standard of vetting. The comments on the preprints (though may not be equivalent to a quality peer review) by other researchers might influence the reviewing process – “Preprint Comments bias.” Logically deposition of research articles in preprint servers cannot undergo double-blind peer review process and cannot be accepted in journals strictly adhering to it. It would be prudent for authors to submit such manuscripts previously submitted as preprint posts to a single-blind or open-peer reviewed journals.

Only few medical journals declare their policy on preprint posts explicitly in their instructions to authors. There are spectrum of preprint policies, from complete acceptance, acceptance with specifications, and to complete rejection of preprints for submission and further processing of manuscript in these medical journals.[3],[4],[5] The British Medical Journal (BMJ) follows open peer review process. In all the electronic preprints, the BMJ expect authors to tell them about previous publication and to supply them with copies of such previous versions.[3]

Pediatric Anesthesia (Wiley publications), which follows single-blind peer review process, has a policy that they will consider for review, papers previously available as preprints on noncommercial preprint servers.[4] Four esteemed orthopedic journals jointly declared that they won't accept clinical research manuscripts previously posted to preprint servers.[5] The journal “Anesthesiology” which follows single-blind peer review process clearly states that they won't accept preprints as references.[6]

A double-blind peer review process is followed by majority of esteemed anesthesiology journals. To our knowledge, there are no explicit statements in the instruction to authors from many of the journals, about the eligibility of preprint server deposition prior to submission. Clear instructions to the authors about preprints are the need of the hour. In this era of urgency for fast information dissemination (preprints), all medical journals should have a defined policy about preprints stated in their instruction to authors as decided by the Editor-in-chief and Editorial board. It is high time for the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors to formulate a clear concrete policy and recommendations on preprints and double-blind peer review, like we have for ethics and plagiarism.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

 
   References Top

1.
Kharasch ED, Avram MJ, Clark JD, Davidson AJ, Houle TT, Levy JH, et al. Peer review matters: research quality and the public trust. Anesthesiology 2021;134:1-6.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Elsevier. Amsterdam: Modern Publishers; 1880-2021. Authors- policies and guidelines. Available from: https://www.elsevier.com/authors/policies-and-guidelines. [Last accessed on 2021 Mar 11].  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
BMJ. London, United Kingdom: Company-Publishers; 1840-2021. British Medical Journal Publishing Model. Available from: https://www.bmj.com/about-bmj/publishing-model. [Last accessed on 2021 Mar 11].  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Wiley Online Library. John Wiley and sons, Inc Oxford. United Kingdom: Publishers; c1999-2021. Pediatric Anesthesia-Instruction for Authors. Available from: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/page/journal/14609592/homepage/forauthors.html. [Last accessed on 2021 Mar 11].  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Leopold SS, Haddad FS, Sandell LJ, Swiontkowski M. Clinical orthopaedics and related research, the bone and joint journal, the journal of orthopaedic research, and the journal of bone and joint surgery will not accept clinical research manuscripts previously posted to preprint servers. J Bone Joint Surg Am 2019;101:1-4.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
Kharasch ED. Non-peer-reviewed preprint articles as references in anesthesiology: Reply. Anesthesiology 2021;134:821.  Back to cited text no. 6
    




 

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