Analysis of single comments left for bioRxiv preprints till September 2019

Mario Malički, Joseph Costello, Juan Pablo Alperin, Lauren A. Maggio

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Introduction: While early commenting on studies is seen as one of the advantages of preprints, the type of such comments, and the people who post them, have not been systematically explored. Materials and methods: We analysed comments posted between 21 May 2015 and 9 September 2019 for 1983 bioRxiv preprints that received only one comment on the bioRxiv website. The comment types were classified by three coders independently, with all differences resolved by consensus. Results: Our analysis showed that 69% of comments were posted by non-authors (N = 1366), and 31% by the preprints' authors themselves (N = 617). Twelve percent of non-author comments (N = 168) were full review reports traditionally found during journal review, while the rest most commonly contained praises (N = 577, 42%), suggestions (N = 399, 29%), or criticisms (N = 226, 17%). Authors' comments most commonly contained publication status updates (N = 354, 57%), additional study information (N = 158, 26%), or solicited feedback for the preprints (N = 65, 11%). Conclusions: Our results indicate that comments posted for bioRxiv preprints may have potential benefits for both the public and the scholarly community. Further research is needed to measure the direct impact of these comments on comments made by journal peer reviewers, subsequent preprint versions or journal publications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20201
Number of pages1
JournalBiochemia medica
Issue number2
StatePublished - 15 Jun 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • comment
  • peer review
  • preprint
  • preprints as topic
  • scientific misconduct


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