Rector urges researchers to embrace preprints for academic advancement

Kayode Ogundele
Kayode Ogundele
Harold Bowa with Dr. Ibrahim

The Rector, Yaba College of Technology, Dr. Engr. Ibraheem Adedotun Abdul, has urged researchers in tertiary institutions to embrace preprints for academic advancement.

He dropped this hint at a daylong seminar titled “Empowering Researchers: Leveraging Preprints for Academic Advancement”; organized by the Center for Research Support and Grants Management (CRSGM) of Yaba College of Technology.

Declaring the workshop open, Dr. Ibraheem underscored the importance of accelerating the dissemination of preprints which he described as drafts of scholarly articles and research papers that are made publicly available prior to peer review, meaning that researchers can get their works out quickly and receive feedback at a relatively early stage.

He stated that preprints, if embraced, would democratize access to knowledge, promote inclusivity and transparency within the academic community, encourage active participation, and emphasized the dynamic nature of the academic environment and the critical role of innovation in driving progress.

He revealed that preprints allow you to claim credit for your work before publication and can be cited before peer review and publication. Dr. Abdul stressed that Preprint is an accessible form of research communication that fosters collaboration and feedback before peer review, promotes visibility, transparency, discourages bad actors, and communicates research more rapidly.

In her welcome address, the Acting Director of CRSGM, Dr. Funmilayo Doherty explained that the focus of the seminar is to create awareness about preprints, which is yet to thrive and be embraced in Africa and Nigeria in particular.

The seminar, she said, would draw the attention of the participants to the transformative potential of embracing preprints in the academic sphere and also enlighten attendees on the multifaceted benefits of embracing reprints in academic research.

In his presentation, titled “Publish, Review, Curate with elife” Godwyns Onwuchekwa, Head of Community at Elife, illuminated the significance of preprints in shaping the academic landscape, stating that Preprints offer numerous benefits in research

According to him, “ preprints accelerate dissemination by allowing researchers to share their findings rapidly; enhance collaboration by inviting feedback and engagement from peers; increase accessibility to research findings, promoting inclusivity; establish priority for discoveries, potentially leading to earlier recognition; facilitate the rapid dissemination of information during urgent situations; promote transparency by allowing others to track the evolution of research ideas; and encourage innovation by fostering a culture of early sharing and exploration within the scientific community.”

Harold Bowa, representing UbuntuNet Alliance, in his paper titled: “Introduction to Preprint” dwelt on the essence of preprints, elucidating their pivotal role in expediting knowledge dissemination and fostering early collaboration. He accentuated their relevance in addressing urgent issues, such as public health emergencies, while establishing precedence in discoveries.

He said, “the essence of preprints lies in their ability to rapidly disseminate research findings, foster collaboration, and promote transparency within the scientific community.”

The seminar featured esteemed speakers from prominent research organizations, both physically and virtually; among whom were Godwyns Onwuchekwa, the Head of Community at elife, Jonny Coates of ASAPbio, Vanessa Fairhurst of PREreview, and Harold Bowa of UbuntuNet Alliance shared insights into the relevance and impact of preprints in academic research.

Participants were drawn from among the tertiary institutions in the south-west of the country and attended both virtually and physically at Yaba College of Technology.

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