Onikle Inc.

Issues With Preprint Server: Asking Questions to Author?

Image by Atsutaka Odaira

Not only limited to preprints, but questions on published articles have been largely unanswered

Currently, most questions about the research articles are not answered. The only opportunity people get to resolve their query is through the Q&A session in a conference. When in doubt, most users take the following actions:

• Try to solve the issue by reading other papers

• Give up on the article and look for other articles or analysis

• Read it THREE times

• Discuss the content with boss or colleagues

• Simply, ask the author

Asking the author seems like a direct route, but even in such cases, the reply often takes more than a month and worst-case scenario, it gets ignored. We must change the situation where we consume so much time but in the end: give up.

Failure of finding high quality preprints

Since the preprint is a pre-reviewed paper, it is considered more as a draft and may not be given the details that you see in a typical published journal. Also, not only limited to preprints, the quantitative indicators for determining the quality of a published paper are the number of citations and the date of submission. Therefore, it can be said that the percentage of papers that deemed to be useful while searching is less than 50%.

So, is there any other indicator that can judge the quality of an article in a fair and quick manner?

Is there a platform where readers can exchange questions and answers? The quality of the paper can be evaluated to a certain degree by displaying whether the exchange was understandable and number of users participating in the discussion.

Is it being discussed somewhere else?

Discussions are made on services such as slack, reddit, twitter, and gitHub. However, as SNS and the preprint server are not linked, it is significantly difficult to find a discussion, and results into a closed community. One of the merits of issuing a preprint: writing a better dissertation by receiving feedback. But if the author him/herself cannot find the discussion; the merit is lost.

In fact, some online journals do have a function where it allows reader to comment on papers, but it fails to provide a platform for discussion as it is not created to function in such way. Only a few papers have been left with “sounds good.” It does not sound good to us.

What Onikle made it possible.

Questions about the article can be asked on the same service

With Onikle you can complete series of experiences surrounding an article such as searching, reading, and summarizing. Additionally, it was designed so that you can ask questions about the article on the same platform. Also, by allowing other users to answer, not just by the author, it will prompt further discussion. Authors who upload preprints to Onikle would try to maximise the benefit attained from preprints by actively answering the questions on their paper.

Further on, Onikle will pick up papers that are highly discussed. By notifying the paper, it will generate more discussion.

Using various data from discussion as an index for papers

Of course, we evaluate index based on downloads, citations, or page views. But Onikle is considering to build a scheme with number of users or searches for discussions to reach a paper as part of the index.

Easy-to-Discuss design

Hurdles for participating in the discussion are lowered by setting up an “issue” for each question, and the “mention” function makes it easier to understand what is happening regarding the “issue”. Onikle supports images and codes, if an information is difficult to convey in text.

If you are interested in our service, please register your email address in the following link to get an early access and test our All-new preprint platform that provides stress-free search experience with AI engine.

Written by Wanonno Iqtyider

By accelerating the distribution of papers and completing full open access to them, we support everyone who is approaching an uncertain future.