Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) announced today that the preprint servers bioRxiv and medRxiv have received renewed funding from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI). CZI has supported bioRxiv since 2017 and medRxiv since 2020. The newest grants, totaling $6.1 million, will support the expansion of the servers’ operations until 2024 and a partnership with the annotation platform Hypothes.is to improve processes for commenting and providing feedback around preprints.
With CZI’s encouragement and financial backing, bioRxiv (pronounced “bio archive”) and medRxiv (“med archive”) have quickly become central information resources, transforming the way scientists communicate worldwide. The servers offer researchers a zero-cost platform for sharing and comparing their work. Manuscripts are screened but not peer-reviewed. Authors post them whenever they wish, not as a consequence of journal submission, and update them as required. The preprints attract attention, feedback, and citations, and enable early collaboration among scientists. Each year, bioRxiv and medRxiv host the discoveries of tens of thousands of scientists and share them with tens of millions of readers.
These free, open servers have proven to be invaluable public health tools throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Among the 206,000 preprints on the servers are more than 25,000 posted since 2020 that have helped scientists understand the biology of the coronavirus and streamline the development of safe, effective vaccines and treatment options.
Dr. John Inglis, co-founder of bioRxiv and medRxiv, said: “Our preprint team is hugely encouraged by CZI’s commitment to continue supporting our work and vision for the future. We’re planning for continued growth and greater diversity of authors and content while bringing more scientists into the conversations happening on and beyond these rapid, open communication platforms. Preprints in biomedicine have made it possible to re-imagine research communication, and we look forward to working with partners, including institutions and other funding organizations, interested in joining CZI and CSHL in achieving that bold ambition.”
“The bioRxiv and medRxiv servers have transformed the way biomedical science is shared and how researchers collaborate,” said Steve Quake, CZI head of science. “We’re excited to expand our support for these platforms and hope other institutions participate in efforts to further grow these essential resources.”
“The promise of an open, interoperable conversation layer for feedback, review, community, and more over the literature is profound,” said Dan Whaley, founder/CEO of Hypothes.is. “We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to work closely with the team at bioRxiv to meet the needs of their community.”
The medRxiv server is co-managed by CSHL, Yale University, and global knowledge provider BMJ. Yale University Professor of Medicine Dr. Harlan Krumholz, co-founder of medRxiv and head of the Yale Open Data Access (YODA) Project, said: “medRxiv has transformed clinical research, and yet has just gotten started. The goal is to engage all scientists in early and frequent sharing of data so they can foster collaboration, elicit constructive feedback, and accelerate science to improve patient outcomes.”
Chan Zuckerberg Institute