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Use of preprints in BBSRC-funded research

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In line with the announcement by MRC (see MRC: The MRC supports preprints), BBSRC wishes to remind researchers that preprints are acceptable for citation in research grant and fellowship applications.

We encourage all researchers funded by BBSRC to share their pre-peer review manuscripts via established preprint servers, through dedicated repositories or a preprint service.

Preprints in the biosciences are valuable in helping to establish early claim to research findings, making the latest research findings available without undue delay, and encouraging publication of results that may not otherwise secure peer-reviewed publication (for example, negative findings). Preprints also help evidence research productivity.

The use of preprints is also consistent with BBSRC’s commitment to ensure that Research Committee members, Assessment Panel members and external reviewers consider the content of research papers rather than rely on venue of formal publication as a performance or quality measure.

Preprints cited in BBSRC applications must be accompanied by a DOI or other persistent identifier, and should only be referenced when they are less than five years old at the time an application is submitted. Applicants may increase this timeframe commensurately if they have taken career breaks or flexible working arrangements have been in place.

As well as permitting applicants to cite preprints in applications, we also encourage authors to cite preprints in publications, where appropriate.

BBSRC’s policy on preprints complements our policies on open access and data sharing and Europe PubMed Central (see: Safeguarding good scientific practice). BBSRC’s Open Access policy, which is the RCUK Policy on Open Access, applies only to peer-reviewed papers: we still require that the results of BBSRC-funded research are published formally following peer review and made freely available as soon as possible, no later than six months from the formal date of publication. Researchers are also strongly encouraged to archive all such articles, whether published in open access or subscription-based journals, in Europe PMC.

Questions regarding this policy may be addressed to bbsrc.inquiries@bbsrc.ac.uk.

ENDS


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