India gets 1st preprint server back — ‘IndiaRxiv’ aims to be one-stop shop for domestic research

Bengaluru: Indian researchers once more have a devoted server to add pre-prints of their research. IndiaRxiv (pronounced India Archive) was relaunched on 24 February after a brief run two years in the past.

Preprints are research papers that haven’t but undergone a peer assessment, as is the norm to set up verified outcomes from scientific research. Preprints have proved helpful in advancing science throughout the pandemic, making findings public a lot faster, earlier than the time-consuming peer-review course of. Conversely, the shortage of peer assessment permits lecturers to add and make public findings that will not be the results of full rigour.

Global preprint servers equivalent to arXiv (normal) and bioRxiv (for life sciences) exist already. With IndiaRxiv, the work of Indian researchers can be collated in a single place, say the scientists behind the server.

“Now or later, all of the works of Indian researchers will be accessible at one portal and the panorama of works can present how the research is being carried out over a time period and throughout varied disciplines by Indian researchers,” mentioned Sridhar Gutam, senior scientist at Indian Institute of Horticultural Research (ICAR-IIHR), Hyderabad.

The server has been arrange by Open Access India, an advocacy group based by Gutam, to promote open entry to research or make scientific findings freely accessible.

Currently, prime peer-reviewed journals are recognized to cost researchers exorbitant charges, to each publish their paper, and likewise subsequently take away the paywall for the revealed paper. As a consequence, open-access providers like Sci-Hub have been created to make research extra accessible to scientists themselves.

Also learn: 4th Covid wave could hit India between June & October, IIT-Kanpur preprint says

Inception of IndiaRxiv

The preliminary assist for communities to launch co-branded, preprint servers got here from the Centre for Open Science (COS), a US-based non-profit. Under this assist, Open Access India first began agriRxiv as a subject-specific preprint repository. IndiaRxiv was additionally created and launched then (in 2019), however COS ran out of funds for internet hosting the servers a yr later.

In its temporary run then, the IndiaRxiv server had acquired 140 uploads of papers by way of 2019 and 2020. In 2021, the un-funded initiative was ready to discover internet hosting once more when the Public Knowledge Project (PKP), an initiative to develop open-source software program for research, launched their Open Preprint Systems.

The institution of a region-specific preprint server follows examples from different areas, equivalent to Indonesia’s INA-Rxiv and Africa’s AfricArxiv, which impressed the creation of IndiaRxiv.

However, all such regional repositories could not pay internet hosting charges to COS, main to the closing of INA-Rxiv, ArabXiv, and marine conservation server MarXiv in 2020. Geosciences server EarthArXiv reportedly left the COS’s platform due to the $230,000/yr internet hosting charge.

“The underlying motive for establishing or launching the preprint servers for India by Open Access India is to make researchers conscious of the preprint server and encourage them to share their works instantly to get fast suggestions,” mentioned Gutam. “When researchers are trying for fast publication and submit to journals which can be questionable, submission to preprint servers may also help them date-stamp their works and might enhance their manuscripts for submission to journals.”

Country- and region-specific repositories may also help collate all research in varied topics beneath one umbrella, he added.

Combating misinformation

While preprints can allow fast distribution and availability of research knowledge, they’ll additionally contribute to misinformation within the type of sensationalised, or non-rigorous or pseudoscientific research.

As each reputable and subpar high quality papers are uploaded side-by-side, it might probably usually lead to misinterpretation and misrepresentation of badly carried out research, a typical drawback with preprint servers.

To fight this, IndiaRxiv has made its publishing moderated and never self-published. The server has a “steering committee”, comprising volunteers from academia, who do preliminary high quality checks after which approve papers for publication on the server.

“Preprints can have varied variations based mostly on enhancements. But when revealed, it’ll have just one model and can’t be up to date,” mentioned Gutam.

Papers are additionally open to feedback instantly after being revealed, and the location encourages criticism and experiences for retraction, if wanted.

(Edited by Poulomi Banerjee)

Also learn: India gets 1st preprint server back — ‘IndiaRxiv’ aims to be one-stop shop for domestic research

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