Affiliate Stefano Bertozzi is heading the creation of a new COVID-19 journal as Editor-in-Chief, a joint effort by MIT Press and the Berkeley School of Public Health. EASST Fellow Jeanine Condo and CEGA research collaborator Felix Masiye are serving as members of the editorial board.
“To understand and prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers are working at a rapid clip.
As funders scale COVID-19 research grants and expedite application processes, publishers too are trying to move quickly to ensure that academics, policy makers and the public can access the latest research developments in a timely fashion.
This rush to disseminate information is exposing cracks in the scholarly research system. Academic journals have not been fast-moving historically, and traditional peer review can take months. To make research findings available quickly, many researchers are publishing versions of papers that have not yet been peer reviewed on preprint servers such as arXiv, bioRxiv and SSRN.
Preprint servers play an increasingly important role in the scholarly publishing landscape. They are a popular platform for researchers to get early feedback on their research. They are also a space where researchers can publish research products and data sets not typically published in traditional journals. The process is fast — publication of open-access research that anyone can read is immediate.
The downside of this open publication system is that sometimes controversial or poor-quality research can garner a lot of attention on social media or in news articles, said Stefano Bertozzi, professor of health policy and management at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health. In the clamor for information about COVID-19, it is easy for misinformation to spread online, he said.
To combat this, MIT Press and the Berkeley School of Public Health are launching a new COVID-19 journal, one that will peer review preprint articles getting a lot of attention — elevating the good research and debunking the bad.”
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