Re: ClinMed NetPrints

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Tue, 4 Apr 2000 09:50:20 +0100

On Tue, 4 Apr 2000, Jim Till wrote:

> A search for eprints posted at the ClinMed NetPrints website (at
> yielded a total of 13 eprints posted
> between December 13, 1999 and March 21, 2000.
> In the article, I assumed that rejection rates of the kind experienced as a
> result of conventional peer review shouldn't be a problem for eprints. This
> assumption appears to be incorrect for NetPrints. If the code numbers
> assigned to NetPrints are assigned sequentially, then it appears that at
> least 32 eprints were submitted to the ClinMed NetPrints website between
> December 13, 1999 and March 21, 2000. Of these, only 13 have been posted.
> Thus, the acceptance rate appears to be about 40%. It seems that, so far,
> the rejection rates for ClinMed NetPrints have been quite high.

(1) Clinical medicine (because of possible dangers to public health) has a special
pre-screening problem even for unrefereed preprints; other disciplines do not have
this risk or this problem.

(2) There seems to be some confusion here between pre-screening and refereeing.
For a high-quality, high-impact journal, its rejection rate is a reflection of
its high quality standards. It means selectivity is being exercised and only the
very best work is being accepted.

> It's also noteworthy that the number of 'rapid responses' to the posted
> NetPrints seems to have been very low. Not what I would have predicted.

It's early days yet. But the confusion (conflation) between the archiving,
pre-screening and refereeing functions must be resolved if potential
submitters and responders are to know what to make of services like this.

Harnad, S. (1998g) The invisible hand of peer review. Nature [online]
(5 Nov. 1998) and in Exploit Interactive 5 (2000)
Longer version:

Stevan Harnad
Professor of Cognitive Science
Department of Electronics and phone: +44 23-80 592-582
             Computer Science fax: +44 23-80 592-865
University of Southampton
Highfield, Southampton
Received on Mon Jan 24 2000 - 19:17:43 GMT

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