The preprint platform Research Square is offering badges to researchers who post a preprint to its multidisciplinary preprint platform, also known as Research Square. Preprint authors can purchase a badge in Methods or Statistics Reporting to certify their preprint and demonstrate that it meets established standards in scientific reporting. Launched in 2018, Research Square is now hosting over 20,000 preprints across all fields and is the world’s fastest-growing preprint platform and the #4 source of research on COVID-19.
Preprint authors can choose to purchase a badge in Methods or Statistics Reporting to certify that fundamental standards of scientific reporting around methodology, reproducibility, and statistical rigor have been applied. Every preprint posted on Research Square is assessed for completeness and suitability for online posting and displays a prescreen badge once it becomes publicly available.
With the increasing popularity of preprints among researchers and the growing number of preprints related to COVID-19, the scientific community is looking for ways to recognise quality preprints. Badge certification is a novel way for researchers to demonstrate the quality of their preprint and signal to the research community that it meets criteria for reproducibility and transparency that are increasingly required by funders and reputable publishers.
The process of earning a badge can result in a more robust manuscript and ensures that authors are presenting the highest-quality version of their work. A small pilot study conducted by Research Square found that papers that failed a badge assessment ended up failing peer review and not being published.
Research Square’s experienced editorial staff assess a given preprint and provide guidance to authors on what revisions need to be made in order to earn a badge. Once the necessary improvements have been made, a badge icon appears on the public preprint, signalling to readers that the preprint meets established reporting standards. Research Square will continue to make improvements to their Badges based on feedback from authors, readers, and the research community.
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