The Company of Biologists is delighted that a group of early-career researchers in the preLights community have launched a new website, covidpreprints.com, to track landmark coronavirus studies throughout the ongoing pandemic. Confirmed cases and deaths worldwide continue to climb, making the immediate sharing of research critical to scientific progress. Preprints, non-peer reviewed Open Access scientific papers, enable researchers to share their data before journal publication. An increasingly popular method of disseminating research, the number of coronavirus preprints has soared in response to the outbreak.
Such a high volume of science across different platforms has made it difficult to filter out and connect reliable information. "The volume and disparity of information relating to COVID-19 is making it increasingly difficult to understand what information is reliable, trustworthy and important. We have created a central resource to make this job easier," said Jonathon Coates, a member of the team, preLighter and postdoctoral researcher at the University of Cambridge.
The website links to expert reviews from organizations and leaders in the field. Summaries, ongoing online discussions and major events of the pandemic accompany the studies. The team made the decision to include controversial preprints, reasoning that all science informs future directions. A color-coded system highlights preprints, events and important comments or caveats.
The preLighter team has always been keen to help the scientific community find relevant research, promote preprints and understand the way preprints are changing scholarly communication. The team hope this new project will help scientists, journalists and the public learn about important COVID-19 research and the pace at which new findings are circulated."
Máté Pálfy, preLights Community Manager
The website is free to access and available to everyone: scientists, the media and the public are invited to use the resource to gain clarity on the rapidly evolving situation. Data collection for the website is live and ongoing. The project team welcomes feedback and community contributions.