A new notice from the NIH (Reporting Preprints and Other Interim Research Products, NOT-OD-17-050) indicates that interim research products, including preprints, can soon be cited where other research products are cited. This includes the NIH Biosketch and Section C of the Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR), among others. The change is effective for all applications submitted for the May 25, 2017 due date and beyond, and for RPPRs submitted on or after May 25, 2017.
What are Interim Research Products?
NIH defines interim research products as complete, public research products that are not final. A common form is the preprint, which is a complete and public draft of a scientific document. Preprints are typically manuscripts written in the style of a peer-reviewed journal article that have not been subject to peer review. Scientists issue preprints to speed dissemination, establish priority, obtain feedback, and offset publication bias.
Citing Interim Research Products
When citing an interim research product, applicants and awardees must include the Digital Object Identifier and the Object type (e.g. preprint, protocol) in the citation. They should also list any information about the document version (e.g. most recent date modified), and if relevant, the date the product was cited.
Bar DZ, Atkatsh K, Tavarez U, Erdos MR, Gruenbaum Y, Collins FS. Biotinylation by antibody recognition- A novel method for proximity labeling. BioRxiv 069187 [Preprint]. August 11, 2016 [cited 2017 Jan 12]. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1101/069187.
For more information, see: NIH NOT-OD-17-050: Reporting Preprints and Other Interim Research Products.
In October 2016, the NIH requested information on the use of interim research products and standards for reporting them (Request for information (RFI): Including Preprints and Interim Research Products in NIH Applications and Reports, NOT-OD-17-006). The NIH received 351 responses and nearly all respondents supported increasing the use of interim research products in NIH award processes. Specific benefits of interim research products include speeding dissemination of results, enhancing the rigor of the research and avoiding publication bias. For more information about the responses, see the Background and Public Comments section of: NIH NOT-OD-17-050: Reporting Preprints and Other Interim Research Products.