Re: ClinMed NetPrints

From: Jim Till <till_at_UHNRES.UTORONTO.CA>
Date: Mon, 11 Dec 2000 02:45:16 -0500

The ClinMed NetPrints website has been active for about a year

As of Dec. 10/2000, 34 preprints have been posted. Via the link
to PubMed that's provided, it's possible to check whether or
articles with the same authorship and very similar titles have
been published in journals included in PubMed's listings.

I could identify three in this way:

1) clinmed/1999120016 (posted December 29, 1999) appears to
be similar to an article published in BMJ 2000;321:20 (1 July)

2) clinmed/2000020012 (posted April 21, 2000) appears to be
closely related to an article published in BMJ 2000;321:792-793
(30 September)

3) clinmed/2000030003v1 (posted April 6, 2000) appears to be
closely related to an article published in J Pain Symptom Manage
2000 Nov;20(5):326-34

In addition:

4) clinmed/2000010010 (posted March 21, 2000) is the basis for a
revised version published in a peer-reviewed electronic journal
(one that's not yet included in PubMed's listings), Journal of
Medical Internet Research (URL:

>From Dec 1999 through Apr 2000, 16 preprints were posted at the
ClinMed NetPrints website. If it's assumed that it takes a
minimum of about seven months for an article to be submitted,
peer-reviewed, and published, then the publication rate for
these preprints is, so far, at least 25%.

This percentage could increase, but it seems unlikely that it
will reach the 70% publication rate that's been estimated for
preprints posted at the website (see Heath B.
O'Connell, "Physicists Thriving with Paperless Publishing", - "The standard of work
archived at Los Alamos is very high. 70% of papers are
eventually published in journals and another 20% are in
conference proceedings").

However, when I assessed the publication records of the authors
of preprints posted at the ClinMed NetPrints website, almost all
appeared to have some track record of publication in PubMed-
listed journals.

This raises a question about the evaluation of preprint
servers: what criteria and standards should be used to assess
their quality?

It would be of some interest to use these same criteria and
standards (whatever they should be) to evaluate other preprint
servers (such as the Chemistry Preprint Server, at

Jim Till
University of Toronto
Received on Mon Jan 24 2000 - 19:17:43 GMT

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