For years Crossref is striving to improve, following the feedback of its members. This includes the support of more and more content types and the possibility to build relations between them. Now an important step has been taken by featuring the possibility to register peer reviews for preprints and other types of content.
News about the peer reviews
Members of Crossref deposit different kinds of content to the database. Much of this content passes peer review before publication. Up until now, it was possible to register peer reviews only for the most popular type - the journal articles. This, though, was limiting and many people and organizations called for change. And the change is here. From now on it will be possible to register relationship metadata for any type of content, including for example - dissertations, books, and especially preprints. The metadata will include the type of review - open comment, evaluation from a reviewer, etc., in other words, if the peer review is institutional, coming from the community, etc. This change will open a whole new door in terms of discoverability and trustworthiness.
In the last decade, there has been an increase in the number of disciplines using preprints. The possibility they provide for early dissemination of new research and for receiving valuable feedback, that can help improve papers before publication, made them popular among many scholars. Since the registration of preprint metadata was made possible on Crossref in 2016, it has become the fastest-growing content type.
Still, there is concern about the credibility of the research in preprints, as they don't pass a formal peer-review process. This is the reason many of the platforms accepting preprints have included an option for public comments from the community. This helps prevent some of the flaws of the preprint idea. With the possibility to add relationship metadata for such comments when registering a preprint, Crossref makes sure, they are also available for the people accessing the preprint.
With these changes, Crossref once again proves, that it is constantly evolving and will continue accepting feedback in order to be as useful as possible for its' members.
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