An Update on the NIH Preprint Pilot
Ten months into the NIH Preprint Pilot, more than 2,100 preprints reporting NIH-supported research on COVID-19 are now discoverable in PubMed Central (PMC) and PubMed. Through early April 2021, these records have been viewed more than 1 million times in each of these databases (1.4 million in PMC; 1 million in PubMed). Of the preprints included in the pilot, ~60% are currently discoverable only as a preprint version, having not yet been linked to a published article. All articles are clearly identified as preprints. Preprints may be selected or excluded in searches by using the preprint filter.
The pilot launched in June 2020 with preprint records from medRxiv, bioRxiv, arXiv, ChemRxiv, Research Square, and SSRN. Phase 1 has focused on improving the discoverability of preprints relating to the ongoing public health emergency and accelerating dissemination of NIH-supported research on the SARS-CoV-2 virus and COVID-19. This narrowly scoped first phase has allowed the National Library of Medicine (NLM) to streamline curation and ingest workflows for NIH-supported preprints and refine the details of implementation with a set of articles for which there has been high demand for accelerated access and discovery. Since launching the pilot, NLM has made display of preprint records in PubMed search results more transparent. We have also automated checks for new preprint versions and preprint withdrawals, and reduced the steps required to report preprints as products of awards in My Bibliography.
If you are interested in ongoing status updates on the pilot, quarterly summaries are posted under Related Links on the NIH Preprint Pilot landing page. NLM continues to encourage people to send feedback on preprints and the pilot by emailing email@example.com.
About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.