OSF Preprints’ Lame Pivot

A new screening policy is described in two conflicting ways, and reflects the need for caution — albeit too late

A new message from OSF Preprints describes how they are shifting today from posting preprints immediately and dealing with the carnage later (what they euphemistically call a “post-moderation policy”) to screening preprint submissions before posting them (parallel euphemism: “pre-moderation policy”).

In other words, they’ve learned the hard way that a free-for-all allows their platform to be exploited, so they’re at least going to “yellow alert.”

Yet, OSF seems unable to do two things:

  • Admit they got it wrong to begin with. In the message, they call their “pre-moderation policy” — the one they are abandoning because it didn’t work out — “successful,” then are pivoting away from all this success as of February 1, 2024, to adopt the new screening policy.
  • State the new process clearly.