In DepthScientific Communication

Preprints bring ‘firehose’ of outbreak data

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Science  28 Feb 2020:
Vol. 367, Issue 6481, pp. 963-964
DOI: 10.1126/science.367.6481.963

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The global outbreak of COVID-19 is transforming how scientists communicate about fast-moving health crises. A torrent of data is being released daily via preprint servers, then dissected on platforms such as Slack and Twitter, and in the media, before formal peer review begins. Journal staffers are working overtime to review, edit, and publish papers at record speeds, and hundreds of genomes so far have been released on a platform named GISAID. The intense communication has catalyzed an unusual level of collaboration among scientists that, combined with scientific advances, has enabled research to move faster than during any previous outbreak.

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