The Lancet's eResearch Archive

From: Jim Till <till_at_UHNRES.UTORONTO.CA>
Date: Wed, 14 Mar 2001 08:14:18 -0500

On 14 Dec, 2000, I wrote [in part, on the Subject: Re: Evaluation of
preprint/postprint servers]:

>[jt] Earlier this year, an eprint archive on international health was
>[jt] available via Lancet's website, at:
>[jt] This url now yields "404 Not Found".

The Lancet's 'eResearch Archive' (ERA) is now available again, via:

The ERA home page is entitled:

> THE LANCET Electronic Research Archive in international health and
> e-print server.

Re eprints (again, from the ERA home page):

> And e-prints? - All papers published in the journal are rigorously
> peer-reviewed, both qualitatively and statistically. But some topics
> benefit from more wide-ranging comment before publication. To ensure
> these papers receive the extra review they deserve we will post them
> on the e-print server.
> Access to ERA will be unrestricted on - our objective is
> to create a searchable public library of research in international
> health.

> From the 'Guidelines' page []:

> At the time of submission to The Lancet, authors can request that
> their paper appear as an eprint. Papers that pass the initial in-house
> editorial screen are reproduced, as submitted, on an open-access
> website with a citable reference indicating that the submission is
> unreviewed. Users of the service can read and comment on all
> submissions under consideration. These comments will be reproduced
> with the paper. Papers that appear as eprints are also formally
> peer-reviewed. The free and formal comments are used to help The
> Lancet's editors decide how to proceed with a paper. There are two
> possible endpoints for an eprint: publication (after revision if
> necessary) in print and electronic formats (the citation becomes that
> of the printed version); or rejection, in which case the eprint is
> removed from the site (a record of its passage will remain) and
> authors will be free to submit elsewhere.

One reason why this particular archive may be of some interest to members
of this forum is that it apparently involves a sequential review process:
an in-house editorial screen -> open-access eprint -> peer-review ->
acceptance or rejection.

At the page on 'Eprint Status' [],
three eprints are listed as 'In print' and four are listed as 'Rejected'.
But, one of the four, 'How a consumer health library can help empower
patients with information', by Aniruddha Malpani, from the Health
Education Library for People (HELP) in Bombay, India, was 'Moved to ERA
Int Health'. The ERA Int Health webpage includes, so far, a total of only
9 articles, 6 with dates in 1999, and 3 with dates in 2000.

For those not familiar with medical journals: The Lancet is a
well-respected general medical journal (second only to the New England
Journal of Medicine in impact factor). Of the top five general medical
journals (ranked by impact factor), two (the British Medical Journal and
the Canadian Medical Association Journal) provide free online access to
the full text of all articles. It will be interesting to see whether or
not the impact factors for these latter two journals will increase,
relative to the impact factors for the other three general medical
journals. (Another of the top five general medical journal is JAMA, the
Journal of the American Medical Association, which is fully available
online only to subscribers and to members of the AMA).

Jim Till
University of Toronto
Received on Wed Jan 03 2001 - 19:17:43 GMT

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