Sunday, February 5, 2017

Preprints and the speed of publishing

When I talk about preprints with colleagues some of them say "Oh, what's the rush?" or "Publishing is so fast these days. Why, my last paper was online 6 weeks after submission don't you know" and then go on to clean their pipe with a thoughtful smile or get up to stoke the coal fire.

I'm currently writing a couple of proposals and as I was updating the reference list on one of them when I noticed that two preprints I cited apparently still haven't been "published" by a journal.  One of them first appeared on arXiv on October 7th and the other October 27th.

Both papers are important to the proposal in the sense that they changed my thinking on what is possible and I think the proposal would be less ambitious if I hadn't read them. So I am very happy these authors chose to deposit them as preprints.  I wish more people would do this and I wish fewer journals/journal editors would stand in the way of them doing so.

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