RCSC Webinar Series: Publication practices during the COVID-19 pandemic: Biomedical preprints and peer-reviewed literature

Our fellow team from the University of Michigan will present research addressing the quality of recently published COVID-19 publications.

Event Details

When: April 21 at 3 p.m. ET

Where: Register for this webinar here. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Abstract: The coronavirus pandemic introduced many changes to our society, and deeply affected the established in biomedical sciences publication practices. We will present a comprehensive study of the changes in scholarly publication landscape for biomedical sciences during the COVID-19 pandemic, with special emphasis on preprints posted on bioRxiv and medRxiv servers. Specifically, we observe the emergence of a new category of preprint authors working in the fields of immunology, microbiology, infectious diseases, and epidemiology, who extensively used preprint platforms during the pandemic for sharing their immediate findings. The majority of these findings were works-in-progress unfitting for a prompt acceptance by refereed journals. The COVID-19 preprints that became peer-reviewed journal articles were often submitted to journals concurrently with the posting on a preprint server, and the entire publication cycle, from preprint to the online journal article, took on average 63 days. This included an expedited peer-review process of 43 days and journal’s production stage of 15 days, however there was a wide variation in publication delays between journals. Only one third of COVID-19 preprints posted during the first nine months of the pandemic appeared as peer-reviewed journal articles. These journal articles display high Altmetric Attention Scores further emphasizing a significance of COVID-19 research during 2020. This research will be relevant to editors, publishers, open science enthusiasts, and anyone interested in changes that the 2020 crisis transpired to publication practices and a culture of preprints in life sciences.


Yulia Sevryugina is a Senior Associate Librarian at the University of Michigan. She uses data science to explore the trends in publication practices, including open access, preprints, pandemic publishing, and retractions. Yulia holds a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the State University of New York at Albany in US, and the Diploma in Chemistry from the Saint-Petersburg State University in Russia. As a Chemistry Professor at the International Institute of Nano and Molecular Medicine at the University of Missouri-Columbia and later at the Texas Christian University, Yulia was leading a research at the interface of inorganic and medicinal chemistry exploring boron clusters as pharmacophores. She has served as a crystallographer for over 10 years and has published over 200 small molecules structures. She has been an active member of the American Crystallographic Association (ACA). As such, she was a Program Chair for the 2017 National ACA Meeting in New Orleans and one of a few representing a US delegation at the Opening Ceremony for the International Year of Crystallography (IYCr2014) at the UNESCO quarters in Paris, France.

Yulia co-authored over 40 peer-reviewed publications. At the University of Michigan, she is an active member of the Faculty Council Communication Committee and the COVID-19 Council, and a current chair of the Huron Valley Local Section of the American Chemical Society. Since she joined the University of Michigan Library, her research interests revolve around scientometrics, STEM education, and publication practices. Her most recent research on “Publication practices during the COVID-19 pandemic: Biomedical preprints and peer-reviewed literature” is available as a bioRxiv preprint.

Read more about the researchers here.