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the joys of preprint servers

In 2011 I began submitting papers to preprint servers well before they where formally accepted [or even submitted] for publication.

At the urging of Graham Coop [who co-founded  Haldane’s Sieve], I submitted our first co-authored paper to ‘ Quantitative Biology > Populations and Evolution ‘ section of arXiv [ http://arxiv.org/abs/1103.5917 , now available at Genetics http://www.genetics.org/content/190/2/709.full.pdf ]. arXiv started in 1991 as a way for scientists to share their work more immediately than the [often slow] process of peer review generally allows. More recently, numerous additional preprint severs have popped up [notably peerJ preprints and bioRxiv, where my paper with Amanda Kenney, Lex Flagel, Graham Coop, and Andrea Sweigart was the first contributed paper to the evolutionary biology section].

The case for submitting to preprint servers has been made previously [e.g. this paper]. I would like to briefly share these benefits wrt my recent submission to bioRxiv. Less than a day after submitting to bioRxiv I heard both positive feedback and thoughtful [for 140 characters, anyways] comments about this paper.


The pdf of this paper has been viewed more than 100 times in less than 1 week. I would have been lucky to have one or two people [i.e. Editor and Associate Editor] glance at this paper in this time under the standard review process.

The discussion of this paper has had me take a 2nd look. I found an embarrassing number of typos in my 1st submission [as usual….]. However, this was easy to fix, I corrected the many typos I caught and simply uploaded an improved version [compare V1 and V2… also let me know if you spot more typos].

While I am still going to go forward with the standard submission process, its unlikely to be as much fun.




About Yaniv Brandvain

I'm a population geneticist in the department of plant biology at the university of minnesota


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(10/11/17) -- In our new paper Heath Blackmon shows that sexually antagonistic selection can lead to the breakdown of Y chromosomes by favoring inversions that cause aneuploidy.

(9/14/17) -- Postdoc Adam on the unusual S locus of Leavenworthia in New Phytologist [paper].

(9/1/17) -- (former :( ) Postdoc Heath Blackmon starts as an assistant professor at Texas A&M.

(8/30/17) -- Annual lab trip to the state fair! [pic].

(7/1/17) -- Our paper showing that self‐compatibility is over‐represented on islands is out in New Phytologist [link].

(5/1/17) -- It's fun to be the popgen / natural variation part of a team aiming to domesticate Silphium . See our master plan and rational in our Crop Science paper.

(2/6/17) -- Yaniv is Honored to be named a McKnight Land Grant Professor. Read the college announcement here.

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