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Table of Contents: 2023 JANUARY–FEBRUARY No. 450

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Next Phase of the NIH Preprint Pilot Launching Soon

Next Phase of the NIH Preprint Pilot Launching Soon. NLM Tech Bull. 2023 Jan-Feb;(450):e2.

2023 January 11 [posted]

Phase 2 expands the scope of the preprints included in PubMed and PubMed Central (PMC)

Last month, the National Library of Medicine (NLM) announced plans to extend its NIH Preprint Pilot in PubMed Central (PMC) and PubMed beyond COVID-19 to encompass all preprints reporting on NIH-funded research. The second phase of the pilot, launching later this month, will include preprints supported by an NIH award, contract, or intramural program and posted to an eligible preprint server on or after January 1, 2023.

Preprints are complete and public drafts of scientific articles that have not yet been peer reviewed. Scientists may post preprints to speed dissemination of their research, establish priority, or obtain feedback. (From statement on preprints from NIH Grants website.)

Since June 2020, the NIH Preprint Pilot has been exploring new approaches to increase the discoverability of NIH-supported research results made available as preprints. The first phase focused on preprints reporting COVID-19-related research supported by NIH. (A full report on Phase 1 is available as a preprint.) In preparation for the launch of this second phase, we have updated PMC and PubMed site features to help users of these databases incorporate the increased volume of preprints into their discovery workflows.

Record Display Updates

  • An informational banner on preprint records in both PubMed and PMC that more clearly highlights an article's preprint status and provides additional context, i.e., that NLM only archives preprints reporting research directly supported by NIH (see green box in Figure 1).
  • On PMC, more prominent identification of linked journal articles on preprint records in PMC, when available (see yellow box in Figure 1).

screenshot of preprint record in PubMed Central.
Figure 1: Preprint record in PubMed Central.

Search Updates

  • In PMC, search results now indicate when a linked journal article is available for a preprint record, following the bolded label "Published in" (see Figure 2).

screenshot of PubMed Central search result with
Figure 2: PubMed Central search result with "Published in" row shown.
  • In PubMed, in addition to the existing "Preprints" filter that allows you to limit search results to preprint records, a corresponding "Exclude Preprints" search filter is now available under "Additional filters: Other" to exclude records with the publication type "Preprint" from search results (see Figure 3).

screenshot of
Figure 3: "Exclude preprints" search filter.

Documentation Updates

  • NLM continues to update the NIH Preprint Pilot overview and FAQs in preparation for the launch of the second phase of the pilot. Authors, in particular, are encouraged to review these pages for more information on how preprints are identified for inclusion in the pilot.
  • We also continue to update the NIH Preprint Pilot: A Librarian's Toolkit with more general information on preprints and the NIH Preprint Pilot, including tutorials and videos.

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