Preprint Ratio

June 30, 2018

We’re approximately one year into the NIH policy that encouraged deposition of manuscripts into preprint servers. My perception is that the number of labs taking the time to do so is steadily increasing.

It is rather slow compared to what I would have expected, going by the grant applications I have reviewed in the past year.

Nevertheless, preprint deposition is getting popular enough that the secondary questions are worth discussing.

How many preprints are too many?

Meaning, is there a ratio of preprints to now-published-in-Journalofology preprints that is of concern?

It is sort of like the way I once viewed listing conference abstracts on a CV. It’s all good if you can see a natural progression leading up to eventual publication of a paper. If there are a lot of conference presentations that never led to papers then this seems….worrisome?

So I’ve been thinking about how preprints may be similar. If one has a ton of preprints that never ever seen to get published, this may be an indication of certain traits. Bad traits. Inability to close type of traits.

So I have been thinking that one of the things guiding my preprint behavior is how many my lab has at a given time that have not advanced to publication yet. And maybe there are times when waiting to upload more preprints is advisable.

Thoughts, Dear Reader?