In a nutshell

While there is increasing interest in preprint review activities, the level of public commenting and reviewing on preprints remains low overall. To explore review modalities that may foster participation in preprint review, we are adapting the crowd review model pioneered by the journal Synlett to preprints, and are running a trial to learn whether this approach provides an engaging format for researchers to participate in preprint feedback and contribute to public preprint reviews.

The Crowd preprint review trial involves bioRxiv preprints in cell biology which authors have requested feedback on. We will coordinate a group of researchers in cell biology interested in contributing feedback – the Crowd. During the trial, we will circulate a preprint or two weekly to the Crowd, and will invite members to provide comments via a group; Crowd members can comment on the full paper or parts of the study according to their interest. After seven days, we will close the commenting period and generate a collective synthesis of the comments to be posted as a public review.

You can view a list of preprints with Crowd reviews on Sciety or access the reviews on bioRxiv.

Goals and intentions

We want to learn whether the crowd review approach provides a framework to address barriers to participation in preprint review by providing a forum for commenting on preprints where authors have explicitly requested feedback, in a format that gives flexibility on what comments to provide, and by generating public reviews that will not necessarily link the commenter’s identity to specific comments in the review.

Project status
Types of outputs
Review process
  • Review requested by
  • Reviewer selected by
  • Public interaction
  • Author response
  • Decision
Review policy
  • Review coverage
    Complete paper
  • Reviewer identity known to
    Editor or service
  • Competing interests
    Not included
Social Networks
Review features
  • Manuscript hosting
  • Notes

    We will include bioRxiv preprints in cell biology which authors have requested feedback on. ASAPbio will approach preprint authors to request confirmation of their interest in receiving feedback and consent for inclusion in the trial. ASAPbio will circulate a preprint or two to the Crowd at weekly intervals, and request comments within the following seven days. Crowd members will provide comments via a private group. After the commenting period, a collective synthesis of the comments will be posted as a public review via bioRxiv’s TRiP framework.

  • Review of code or data
  • Eligible reviewers/editors
    We welcome participation from cell biologists interested in providing feedback on preprints, and particularly encourage early career researchers to participate.
  • Tags or badges
  • Number of scholarly outputs commented on
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