How the readability of manuscript before journal submission advantages peer review process: Evidence from biomedical scientific publications

Zhuanlan SUN*, Dongjin HE, Yiwei LI

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

Abstract

The practice of uploading preprints of scientific manuscripts prior to journal submission has become increasingly popular. As such, it is essential to understand the impact of the preprint version of a manuscript on the peer review process to facilitate the development of open peer review practices. In the current research, we analyze a dataset comprising 1,078 biomedical papers published in Nature Communications and eLife in 2019, along with their manuscript information posted on preprint servers and their peer review histories. Our investigation focuses on the relationship between the readability of manuscript before journal submission, as represented by preprints, and the sentimental features expressed by reviewers. Based on empirical analysis utilizing a linear regression model, it has been found that reviewers are inclined to express positive sentiments towards preprints characterized by technical language, as indicated by low value on the readability indices. Additional subgroup analysis suggests that this positive effect is more pronounced in papers with lower social and scientific impact, as indicated by online attention scores and scholarly views after publication, respectively. Overall, results of our analysis reveals that the utilization of technical language characterized by lower readability level in academic papers does not seem to hinder the peer review process in biomedical science, which has significant implications for the open peer review practice.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101547
JournalJournal of Informetrics
Volume18
Issue number3
Early online date8 Jun 2024
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 Jun 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 Elsevier Ltd

Keywords

  • Manuscript before journal submission
  • Peer review
  • Preprint
  • Readability
  • Sentiment analysis

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