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Overlay journals and preprints




As it becomes each time clearer that the peer-review is broken, new options start to emerge. This is the natural path: journals were born since the societies were broken. The peer-review process emerged in the second half of the XX century.


"Major trends in recent years have included the increasing use of preprint servers—in other words, openly accessible online repositories or archives to which authors post manuscripts before (or sometimes instead of) submitting them to peer-reviewed journals. In physics and related fields, researchers have long posted preprints to the open-access archive now called arXiv, which observed its 30th birthday in 2021 (Celebrating arXiv’s 30th Anniversary 2021). More recently, substantial numbers of researchers in biological fields have posted preprints, for example in bioRxiv (Kaiser 2017). The trend accelerated with the advent of COVID-19 and the impetus to share research about it quickly (Kupferschmidt 2020). Related developments have included the advent of overlay journals, which are compilations of preprints (and sometimes other online items) that, after peer review, been chosen for inclusion (Alves 2021)." How to Write and Publish a Scientific Paper, Barbara Gastel, Robert A. Day


Overlay journals are a type of open access academic journal that selects from texts that are already freely available online 1. They are almost always an online electronic journal (ejournal) that does not produce its own content. The editors of an overlay journal locate suitable material from open access repositories and public domain sources, read it, and evaluate its worth. This evaluation may take the form of the judgement of a single editor or editors, or a full peer review process. Public validation of subsequently approved texts may take several forms. At its most formal, the editor may republish the article with explicit approval. Approval might take the form of an addition to the text or its metadata. Or the editor may simply link to the article, via the table of contents of the overlay journal 1.



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