Share your thoughts on preprint metadata

Response by the International Science Council’s Steering Group on the Future of Scientific Publishing

  1. The International Science Council’s Open Science and Future of Scientific Publishing Project has been advocating the increased use of preprints as a recognized and effective route for the dissemination of research findings and for these to become an integral part of the record of science. (e.g.https://council.science/publications/normalization-preprints/)

  2. For such a system to be effectively implemented requires appropriate metadata targeted to facilitating functionality. We support and welcome the changes being proposed, specifically in:

  • Recognizing preprints as a mainstream publication type in their own right
  • Improving two-way connections between different versions of preprints
  • Allowing for withdrawal/correction of a preprint
  • Improving connectivity between reviews of a specific pre-prints with the preprint itself
  • Improving relationships between the preprint and associated data/programs etc
  1. Our primary concern with the approaches proposed is in not sufficiently allowing for interoperability between different platforms and DOI registration entities. Allowing integration and discoverability of the scholarly content published globally is of fundamental importance to the ISC. It is a vital to be able to integrate research from different geographic regions. Whilst your report notes that enabling such interoperability is difficult and responsibility for undertaking this is hard to assign, any possibility for successful interoperability requires metadata which recognises alternative systems - and we believe this should be a particularly important consideration for the metadata schema most commonly adopted within the western scholarly publishing community. We believe that the evolution of common standards that are governed by the global scientific community are essential to the future of scientific publishing.

  2. In many cases this will be achieved via the various relationship entities within the CrossRef schema - but presently the scope for inclusion of alternative platforms within these tags is limited and not always fully functional. This, for example, has recently been highlighted by the difficulties faced in relating a review to an article posted on arXiv: https://crossref.atlassian.net/browse/CR-777.

  3. We would encourage relationship entities to include as diverse a range of alternative platforms and identifiers as possible, to enable the eventual development of effective and inclusive cross-platform discovery processes either by CrossRef or other entities.

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