Accelerating the dissemination of scientific evidence is crucial during outbreaks of infectious disease. Preprints are manuscripts that are freely shared online and allow early sharing of scientific information. As preprints are increasingly adopted, it is essential that we build tools to help scientists rapidly assess their value and validity.
We will build an extension to the PREreview open source platform to facilitate rapid assessment of preprints during public health crises. The Rapid PREreview tool will give researchers quick high-level evaluation of preprints via a series of questions that assess the originality and soundness of the findings. Results will be aggregated and could be seen instantly to allow users to identify the most relevant information. We will organise sprint-like events to gather specific input from diverse users, build content and promote the use of the tool.
This tool has the capacity to be transformative for on-the-ground workers, researchers, policy makers and the public as it can unlock key scientific information during an outbreak of infectious diseases.