25 April 2022 – EMBO had already considered primary research papers published on preprint servers such as bioRxiv or medRxiv in the evaluation of applications for postdoctoral fellowships in the past. But a published or accepted (joint) first-author publication in an international peer-reviewed journal was still a requirement for eligibility. EMBO will extend this criterion to include refereed preprints in a trial from 25 April 2022 until the close of the autumn 2022 selection cycle on 12 August 2022. Refereed preprints are packages of a preprint, the reviewers’ reports, and the authors’ response. In the trial, a first author preprint with in-depth peer-reviews publicly available from a trusted independent preprint peer-review platform will also be sufficient for eligibility. Informal comments, highlights, and reviews posted by individuals are excluded from this trial.
With the move EMBO leads the way by endorsing refereed preprints in funding decision making, thus further strengthening its support of young scientists who need to demonstrate their peer-reviewed research output as soon as possible. EMBO and ASAPbio launched Review Commons, a platform for independent peer-review of preprints, in 2019. Authors can submit their preprint to Review Commons for peer-review, receive reviewers’ reports and respond, and transfer the refereed preprint to one of 17 affiliated journals. Review Commons will update its policy to make preprint peer-review fully transparent: as of 1 June 2022, the reviewers’ reports and the authors’ response for each manuscript peer-reviewed by Review Commons will be posted to bioRxiv or medRxiv as soon as the authors formally submit their refereed preprint to one of the affiliated journals.
More details on the EMBO Postdoctoral Fellowship Programme’s eligibility criteria and its preprints policy are available here.