Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Time of Preprints

With the COVID-19 pandemic, the preprint site medRxiv has taken off, writes Inside Higher Ed.

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Yale University, and BMJ launched the site in 2019 with the aim of creating an arXiv- or bioXriv-like preprint server for medical and health science manuscripts. 

The site at first had a slow uptake — which IHE says its developers expected — but now, with the pandemic, its use has exploded. "In January 2020 we got 240 manuscripts," John Inglis, the co-founder of the site from the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, tells IHE. "In May of 2020 we got 2,400."

IHE notes medRxiv became stricter along the way. At first, preprints underwent screening for plagiarism and ethical lapses and could be rejected if they might cause alarm. As the pandemic progressed, IHE says it stopped, for instance, allowing papers based only on computer modeling. Still, critics say preprint servers can enable flawed papers to gain traction, but proponents note preprints can enable research to move more quickly, it adds.

The Scan

New Study Investigates Genomics of Fanconi Anemia Repair Pathway in Cancer

A Rockefeller University team reports in Nature that FA repair deficiency leads to structural variants that can contribute to genomic instability.

Study Reveals Potential Sex-Specific Role for Noncoding RNA in Depression

A long, noncoding RNA called FEDORA appears to be a sex-specific regulator of major depressive disorder, affecting more women, researchers report in Science Advances.

New mRNA Vaccines Offer Hope for Fighting Malaria

A George Washington University-led team has developed mRNA vaccines for malaria that appear to provide protection in mice, as they report in NPJ Vaccines.

Unique Germline Variants Found Among Black Prostate Cancer Patients

Through an exome sequencing study appearing in JCO Precision Oncology, researchers have found unique pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants within a cohort of Black prostate cancer patients.