NEW DELHI: After a few global studies related to COVID-19 were retracted pending peer review, the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) has called for adopting caution on interpretation of data from global pre-prints.
According to the CSIR, it is a common practice in the global scientific community to post unpublished preprints in open archives such as bioRxiv in the area of life sciences.
This is to promote open sharing of data with the scientific community at the earliest so that it benefits the community at large and doesn’t get hidden behind paywalls.
“This practice has become more relevant and gained pace during the current pandemic, as research is being conducted at unprecedented scale globally. This has helped the scientific community to share the work and decipher the workings of the virus at a very rapid pace. However, it is critical to note that the pre-prints are not reviewed by experts in the field,” it said.
Emphasising that pre-prints serve a larger good of early access to data by the scientific community, the CSIR said for the non-scientific community it is important to note the difference between a pre-print and a research publication that’s a result of peer-review.
“The expert peer reviewers rigorously review the data, the interpretations and ask for additional experiments or data which may or may not change the final findings of the manuscript. It is a well-established and accepted process in the scientific community,” it added.