The NIH notice discussed below was published yesterday (March 24, 2016) and follows an October 2016 RFI about the use of interim research products.
[Our Emphasis] The NIH encourages investigators to use interim research products, such as preprints, to speed the dissemination and enhance the rigor of their work.
This notice clarifies reporting instructions to allow investigators to cite their interim research products and claim them as products of NIH funding.
Interim Research Products are complete, public research products that are not final.
A common form is the preprint, which is a complete and public draft of a scientific document. Preprints are typically unreviewed manuscripts written in the style of a peer-reviewed journal article. Scientists issue preprints to speed dissemination, establish priority, obtain feedback, and offset publication bias.
Another common type of interim product is a preregistered protocol, where a scientist publicly declares key elements of their research protocol in advance. Preregistration can help scientists enhance the rigor of their work.