Announcing a New Preprint Server with Unisa Press
In the last several years, preprint servers have become increasingly attractive to publishers as strides have been made, such as the assigning of digital object identifiers, that make preprints a better, more trackable form of scientific communication. Moreover, with the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the globe, the scientific community has seen preprints play a major role in enabling the swift relaying of research results. Thus, there is a lot of excitement over the future of preprints and how they could transform the scientific publishing landscape. We are therefore excited to announce a new cooperation with the University of South Africa (Unisa) Press, with whom we have created a new preprint server: UnisaRxiv. UnisaRxiv will be a forum to facilitate open peer-review of preprint manuscripts and allow for rapid dissemination of the latest findings in diverse topics.
About the University of South Africa Press
The University of South Africa (Unisa) is located in Pretoria, one of the three capitals of South Africa, and serves a huge student population of nearly 400,000. Unisa Press is a part of the Unisa’s Research, Postgraduate Studies, Innovation and Commercialisation Portfolio and is the largest university press in Africa, publishing both books and journals. By partnering with Unisa Press, ScienceOpen will gain exposure to thousands of students, early-career researchers and academic research faculty living in South Africa. This will expand ScienceOpen’s global reach and hopefully improve readership to research and academic content on the platform.
The Preprint Repository: UnisaRxiv
As a preprint repository with open peer review, UnisaRxiv will help alleviate a lot of the burden from the peer-review process, while also making the process accessible, transparent and accountable. UnisaRxiv will be available free of charge to researchers affiliated with the University of South Africa, but researchers not affiliated with the university will be required to pay an article processing fee upon acceptance of their manuscript.
Peer Review Workflow
The editorial flow of UnisaRxiv will start with articles first being judged on their merit and scientific validity (sound scholarship) by a member of the appropriate discipline. After approval, the preprint will be copyedited before being posted on UnisaRxiv and deposited at Crossref. Authors will then be encouraged to invite reviewers to perform open peer-review. Once a preprint has been reviewed, authors can upload revised versions of their manuscripts which will be posted on the server and linked to the initial paper. This process will let any reader be able to review changes made to the primary preprint manuscript and see how the paper has evolved to its current state. Already, UnisaRxiv has accepted its first preprint manuscript and can be read and peer-reviewed here.
Commitment to Open Science
The partnership with ScienceOpen creates a massive opportunity for Unisa Press to demonstrate its commitment to open science. Additionally, this partnership supports our efforts of providing cutting-edge technology that promotes swift dissemination of research in a transparent manner, grounded in quality and competence. Our professional staff, faculty, and graduate students can take pride in knowing that their work now has the opportunity to be hosted on a platform that opens up their research to expert peer-review and comments, which will enhance the quality of their work. I am excited that Unisa Press is bringing this platform not only to Unisa stakeholders but to all of the African continent.Dr. Meiya G. Nthoesane, Director of Unisa Press
We look forward to watching UnisaRxiv develop and to hearing feedback from authors themselves on their experience using the preprint server. We believe that this cutting-edge preprint server will contribute to paving the way for the future of peer-review, shifting it towards the open model.