Gates Foundation Collaborates with F1000 to Launch Verified Preprint Platform

    F1000 and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have announced plans to launch a new verified preprint platform that will enable the rapid availability of new findings and promote research integrity. VeriXiv [pronounced very-kive] will support researchers in complying with the Gates Foundation’s refreshed open access policy that requires all their funded research to be made available as a preprint from January 2025.

    Preprints are the version of a research paper shared prior to peer review and publication in a journal. While preprints make the latest research available more quickly, their growing use in sharing findings ahead of peer review has added to concerns about the potential for dissemination of misinformation. However, unlike many preprint servers, VeriXiv will conduct a series of rigorous pre-publication checks to support greater research integrity.

    Part of Taylor & Francis, F1000 publishes a range of established open research publishing platforms, with partners including the Gates FoundationWellcomethe European Commission and more. The F1000 team will use its expertise in pre-publication checks, developed over the past 11 years, to verify each VeriXiv submission.

    Twenty different ethics and integrity checks will assess a range of issues, including plagiarism, image manipulation, author verification and competing interests. In addition, open research transparency checks will check whether the data is available in an appropriate repository and that methods have been included to support reproducibility. Each preprint will have clear labelling so that readers know the level of verification conducted on the article, and which levels have been passed.

    In March, the Gates Foundation announced a refreshed open access policy, mandating all grantees to make the preprint of new research outputs available from January 2025. Researchers will be able to fulfill this requirement by sharing their work on the new platform. Once it is available on VeriXiv, authors can choose for their preprint to be peer reviewed prior to publication on the Foundation’s own publishing platform, Gates Open Research, or they can submit it to any other publication for consideration. Alternatively, researchers may decide not to take the paper any further, in which case it will remain openly accessible as a verified preprint on VeriXiv.

    Rebecca Lawrence, Managing Director of F1000, said: “We share the Gates Foundation’s ambition to make a broader range of outputs accessible and discoverable as quickly as possible whilst ensuring the trust and integrity of that work. Since the launch of Gates Open Research in 2017, our partnership has made good progress in encouraging and equipping more researchers to engage in open research practices. VeriXiv is an exciting next step in that mission, providing researchers with an attractive new option to accelerate research progress through early sharing of their work, whilst giving readers the information to help them understand how much to trust that research.”

    Ashley Farley, Program Officer of Knowledge and Research Services at the Gates Foundation, said: “We were delighted to work with F1000 to support this new platform which could set the standard for verified preprints. VeriXiv’s ambition to both improve research integrity and enable the rapid availability of research fits perfectly with our refreshed open access policy, making it a great option for our grantees.”

    VeriXiv will open for preprint submissions from August 2024.