eLife collaborates with Novel Coronavirus Research Compendium on manuscript curation and review

The two initiatives have come together in their shared objective to help scientists and the public navigate the high volume of important new research.
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eLife has announced today its collaboration with the Novel Coronavirus Research Compendium (NCRC), a publicly available resource from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, US, that rapidly curates and reviews emerging scientific evidence about SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19.

Following the significant growth in research outputs relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for an efficient system to help readers navigate new results has become clear. Both eLife and the team behind the NCRC have been working separately on solutions that involve bringing expert peer review and curation to new papers. While eLife evaluates preprints in all areas of biology and medicine as part of its Preprint Review service, the NCRC focuses specifically on SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research published either as preprints or in scientific journals. The faculty, fellows, alumni and students behind the Compendium select research for public health action and assign teams of experts to review and summarise the key findings of the papers.

eLife is now working with the NCRC to integrate the Compendium into Sciety, a new platform developed by a team within eLife. Sciety is a growing network where the latest biomedical and life science preprints are transparently evaluated and curated by communities of experts in one convenient place. eLife will set up a dedicated section for the NCRC on Sciety that displays feeds of articles curated by the Compendium’s community and links to a summary of each article hosted on Sciety. These summaries include information such as the article title, DOI link, abstract, version history and evaluations by other communities. Readers can use the NCRC’s dedicated section as a landing page to find the Compendium’s preprint reviews and keep up to date with its latest evaluations. These reviews will be included on Sciety in the same way as those carried out by other communities that review preprints, such as eLife, Peer Community In, PREreview and Review Commons.

Sciety forms part of eLife’s long-term vision for a system of curation around preprints that replaces journal titles as the primary trust indicator of a paper’s perceived quality and impact.

Damian Pattinson, eLife Executive Director, says: “We’re really excited for the NCRC to join Sciety, making its collection of COVID-19 preprint reviews available to our existing communities. Bringing together new results and the conversations around them has benefits for many people, and it’s great to see the work already being done in this area. With Sciety, we aim to gather these efforts into a single, independent hub, improving both the discoverability and value of new research outputs for as many people as possible.”

The NCRC’s addition to Sciety is one aspect of its broader collaboration with eLife, in which eLife will support the running of the Compendium’s website to ensure its readers have continued access to its full collection of reviews. Additionally, eLife will support the team behind the NCRC to ensure that its efforts to peer review important new COVID-19 research can continue. The two initiatives will also work together on developing a new peer review management system and other technical solutions to make the NCRC’s review and other workflows as efficient as possible.

Emily Gurley, Associate Scientist at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, who originally helped set up the NCRC team, says: “We are thrilled to work with eLife in realising the real potential of preprints – that high-quality research be communicated quickly to scientists and policy makers alike, furthering the use of novel findings to inform policies and programs. This collaboration will provide the NCRC with crucial logistical support, ensuring our long-term success and providing a new platform for sharing our preprint and post-publication reviews of important COVID-19 evidence.”


For more information about the NCRC, visit https://ncrc.jhsph.edu.

To read about eLife’s transition to a ‘publish, then review’ model of scientific publishing, visit https://elifesciences.org/for-the-press/a4dc2f54/elife-shifting-to-exclusively-reviewing-preprints.

And to find out more about Sciety, see https://sciety.org.

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eLife is a non-profit organisation created by funders and led by researchers. Our mission is to accelerate discovery by operating a platform for research communication that encourages and recognises the most responsible behaviours. We aim to publish work of the highest standards and importance in all areas of biology and medicine, while exploring creative new ways to improve how research is assessed and published. eLife receives financial support and strategic guidance from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, the Max Planck Society and Wellcome. Learn more at https://elifesciences.org/about.