Launching in the February issue of Nature Reviews Immunology, the Preprint Watch column is designed to provide rapid and open access to early data on both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 immunology preprints. The first two reviews are: Super(antigen) target for SARS-CoV-2 and Sensing our Z-RNA.
During the COVID-19 pandemic the pace of scientific discovery and the race to find solutions required swift communication of results and fuelled an increase in immunology preprints. Journal club communities around the world seized the opportunity to evaluate and critically analyse a large number of SARS-CoV-2 preprints to provide independent insights to frontline researchers, to the general public, and to help prevent misinformation.
The journal group at Precision Immunology Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine, New York, and the OxImmuno Literature Initiative at the University of Oxford were both producing regular preprint summaries related to the COVID-19 emergency. Towards the end of 2020, the journal club teams from both institutes joined forces to launch the Oxford-Mount Sinai (OxMS) preprint journal club. During a weekly virtual joint ‘journal club’ they discuss selected preprints using their cross-institutional expertise and find the latest advancement in immunology. This new way of assessing and reviewing preprint literature may become a new approach to academic peer reviewing.