FAST principles to foster a positive preprint feedback culture

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Preprints are an essential tool for accelerating scientific discovery as they provide early and free access to new findings. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the usage of preprints have surged on a worldwide level and its availability allows discussion and assessment to be carried over to a wider community. However public participation is very low and is hindered by cultural barriers mainly caused due to fears of making one’s opinion public, especially if the author is a senior colleague in the field. To address cultural barriers and foster constructive participation in public preprint feedback, the ASAPbio working group created a set of 14 principles for creating, responding to, and interpreting preprint feedback. These principles are categorized under four themes: Focused, Appropriate, Specific, Transparent – FAST. 

  • Focused: Comments and suggestions from reviewers should mainly surround the work, without judging personal or journal status.
  • Appropriate: Commenters should provide congenial and unbiased feedback without dampening the motivation of the authors.
  • Specific: Feedback should be clear, honest and actionable, and that should be provided with appropriate reasons.
  • Transparent: Any contribution, competing interests and acknowledgement should be provided wherever possible.

The principles emerged in connection with a meeting organized by ASAPbio in July, 2021 in partnership with DORA, HHMI, and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.

Iborra SF, Polka J, Monaco S, Ahmad S, Franko M, Mittal S, Hindle S, Mullins RD, Behrens TE, Dey G and  Puebla I (2022). FAST principles for preprint feedback. doi: