Elsevier’s world leading preprint server and early stage research platform has announced the launch of "Preprints with The Lancet"—a new preprint series for sharing early stage health and medical research.

The collaboration brings together SSRN with The Lancet as part of a six-month pilot to assess whether the health and medical community are ready for this form of early research sharing.

Preprints are research papers that are at the submission stage or can be described as ongoing research. By sharing online, authors widen the opportunity for receiving comments on their work by other researchers with the goal of an improved final peer-reviewed publication and for exchange of research areas with the future potential for collaboration. Preprints are primarily intended for research use; they have not been through the important steps of peer review and experienced editorial scrutiny and guidance that is part of the publishing process. All papers on Preprints with The Lancet will be free to upload and download.

Dr. Richard Horton, editor-In-chief of The Lancet, said: “Preprints have a long history in physics, mathematics, and, more recently, social sciences and biological fields, but medicine and health have been lagging behind. Our preprint pilot will be a first attempt to establish whether there is an appetite in the medical research community for obtaining feedback on ongoing or submitted research in the form of preprints, and whether such postings are a useful step in the research and publishing process.”

Authors of all research papers submitted to any Lancet family journal, will be asked at submission whether they would like their paper to be posted—as a preprint, an opt-in that all co-authors must agree to. Authors can also submit their papers through SSRN directly.

Submitted papers will be subject to SSRN’s usual checks to ensure that the paper is part of the scholarly discourse, in a subject area covered by one or more of SSRN’s networks. A Lancet editor will then check the paper and ensure the authors have provided a statement about the funding of the study; a summarized declaration of interests for all authors; a statement on ethics approval or why the research was exempted; and if the research is a randomized trial, confirmation that it has been prospectively registered along with the trial registration number. Once a final version of a preprint paper is peer-reviewed and published and becomes part of the scientific evidence as the version of record, authors are encouraged to link to the preprint of the published paper.

Gregg Gordon, managing director of SSRN, added: “It’s fantastic The Lancet has decided to embrace preprints and launch this new series. We have over 20 years’ experience helping researchers from across the world, and from all scientific disciplines, collaborate and share their early stage research. With the new Sneak Peek series from Cell Press recently launched on SSRN, we have two of the world’s leading journals from Elsevier working in partnership with us.”