I would like to congratulate Dr Brian Day on his editorial in the October issue of the journal [BCMJ 2020;62:266]. It clearly lays out a problem that has dogged the medical and scientific community for years. I am sure a vast amount of valuable research has been lost through the years by way of this tedious process, not to mention the discouragement of young researchers. I would be interested in his views, and those of any other readers on the phenomenon of preprints, particularly medRxiv. A paper on this subject was recently published by JAMA (https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/2772749, login required).
I believe that this new method of publishing will speed up exponentially the communication of scientific and medical information as well as give instant feedback and encouragement to researchers. It in no way impedes the traditional publishing method, which can continue in the old way, albeit at a glacial pace.
—A.F. Shearer, MD
This letter was submitted in response to “Peer reviewers, editors, experts, and statisticians—do we need them?”