Preprint Backlash Hits eLife

Scientists call for the preprints "shortcut" to be closed, which means the eLife and Gates nonsense in particular

Back in October 2022, I wrote about eLife’s “reviewed preprint” approach:

eLife is abdicating the role of determining the merits of papers, which is the major purpose of the independent, expert, trusted intermediary — i.e., a journal, and the publishers, editors, reviewers, and professional publishing staff that make one functional.

This was the culmination of eLife’s multi-year fascination with preprints.

Then, in July 2023, I wrote about how Netflix had apparently played eLife (and bioRxiv) by posting three preprints so that the timing would allow Netflix to promote a new documentary while claiming it was based on unreviewed but published scientific papers.

Netflix’s promotion led to massive media coverage of the claims and its documentary (179-208 stories for each preprint in the mainstream media), with the media treating the claims as coming from “a scientific paper published in June that has not yet been peer-reviewed.”