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Topic: #academic-publishing

Academic Publishers Add Negligible Value to Preprints


Some librarians at UCLA compared twelve thousand preprint articles from arXiv with the versions of the same articles that were ultimately published in academic journals and found that they were practically the same, except that the preprints were available to the scholarly community much sooner (typically six months earlier).

“Comparing Published Scientific Journal Articles to Their Pre-print Versions”
Martin Klein, Peter Broadwell, Sharon E. Farb, and Todd Grappone, arXiv, April 18, 2016

Within the boundaries of our corpus, there are no significant differences in aggregate between pre-prints and their corresponding final versions. In addition, the vast majority of pre-prints (90% – 95%) are published by the open access pre-print service first and later by a commercial publisher.

“Research Shows that Published Versions of Papers in Costly Academic Titles Add Almost Nothing to the Freely-Available Preprints They Are Based On”
Glyn Moody, Techdirt, March 13, 2018

Libraries should not be paying for expensive subscriptions to academic journals, but simply providing access to the equivalent preprints, which offer almost identical texts free of charge … Researchers should concentrate on preprints, and forget about journals. Of course, that means that academic institutions must do the same when it comes to evaluating the publications of scholars applying for posts.

The kicker: The paper in which the UCLA librarians reported their results was published last month in the International Journal on Digital Libraries … behind a paywall … twenty-two months after the preprint appeared at arXiv.

#open-access #academic-publishing #arXiv

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John David Stone (

created June 1, 2014 · last revised December 10, 2018