Apr 25, 2020

International authorship and collaboration in bioRxiv preprints

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
R. J. AbdillRan Blekhman


As preprints become more integrated into the conventional avenues of scientific communication, it is critical to understand who is being included and who is not. However, little is known about which countries are participating in the phenomenon or how they collaborate with each other. Here, we present an analysis of 67,885 preprints posted to bioRxiv from 2013 through 2019 that includes the first comprehensive dataset of country-level affiliations for all preprint authors. We find the plurality of preprints (37%) come from the United States, more than three times as many as the next-most prolific country, the United Kingdom (10%). We find some countries are overrepresented on bioRxiv relative to their overall scientific output: The U.S. and U.K. are again at the top of the list, with other countries such as China, India and Russia showing much lower levels of bioRxiv adoption despite comparatively high numbers of scholarly publications. We describe a subset of "contributor countries" including Uganda, Croatia, Thailand, Greece and Kenya, which appear on preprints almost exclusively as part of international collaborations and seldom in the senior author position. Lastly, we find multiple journals that disproportionately favor pr...Continue Reading

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