5 min.

Open Access Week 2021: Preprints as a tool for open knowledge and open science at ILRI

International Open Access Week is an annual scholarly communication event that is marked globally during the last full week of October to raise awareness about open access publishing of research and scholarly outputs to enable their universal online accessibility. The theme of Open Access Week 2021 (25 to 31 Oct) is ‘It matters how we open knowledge: Building structural equity’.

In the field of academic and research publishing, the peer-reviewed journal article is considered as the ‘gold standard’ for quality research outputs. However, many researchers nowadays also consider preprints as important and highly relevant outputs that contribute to the body of knowledge and enable discoverability of current research developments.

A preprint is a version of a scholarly or research manuscript that precedes formal peer review, typesetting and publication in a scholarly or scientific journal. Preprints are often uploaded to online preprint servers or institutional repositories where they are freely accessible as non-typeset versions of the manuscripts.

Publishing of preprints allows researchers to quickly share new findings with their peers and receive early feedback and comments which can help in revising manuscripts for submission to a scholarly journal.

At the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), scientists from the Animal and Human Health program carry out collaborative research to effectively manage or eliminate livestock, zoonotic and foodborne diseases that matter to the poor through the generation and use of knowledge, technologies and products, leading to higher farmer incomes and better health and nutrition for consumers and livestock.

While most of their research outputs are published as peer-reviewed journal articles, the program scientists also publish their findings in other formats including books, book chapters, conference proceedings, infographics, presentations, posters, reports, theses and videos. These outputs are all indexed in CGSpace, an open access institutional repository of agricultural research outputs.

The scientists are also increasingly making use of preprints to share their research via open access. In line with the theme of Open Access Week, we present below a curated list of preprints by scientists from ILRI’s Animal and Human Health program and research partners, to highlight the contribution of these outputs to open knowledge and open science.

  • Ejigu, B.A., Asfaw, M.D., Cavalerie, L., Abebaw, T., Nanyingi, M. and Baylis, M. Assessing the impact of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPI) on the dynamics of COVID-19: A mathematical modelling study in the case of Ethiopia. medRxiv preprint. https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.11.16.20231746
  • Kibugu, J.K., Mburu, D., Munga, L.K., Kurgat, R., Mukasa, B., Lusweti, F.N., Grace, D. and Lindahl, J. Food-borne mycotoxin hazards in the Kenyan market: A retrospective study. bioRxiv preprint. https://doi.org/10.1101/773747
  • Muloi, D., Wee, B., McClean, D., Ward, M., Pankhurst, L., Phan, H., Ivens, A., Kivali, V., Kiyonga, A., Ndinda, C., Gitahi, N., Ouko, T., Hassell, J., Imboma, T., Akoko, J., Karani, M., Njoroge, S., Muinde, P., Nakamura, Y., Alumasa, L., Öhgren, E., Amanya, F., Ogendo, A., Wilson, D., Bettridge, J., Kiiru, J., Kyobutungi, C., Tacoli, C., Kang’ethe, E., Davila, J., Kariuki, S., Robinson, T., Rushton, J., Woolhouse, M. and Fèvre, E.M. Landscape genomics of Escherichia coli in livestock-keeping households across a rapidly developing urban city. InReview preprint. https://doi.org/10.21203/rs.3.rs-172737/v1
  • Mutembei, A., Mutai, F.K., Mwololo, D., Muriuki, J., Obonyo, M., Kairu-Wanyoike, S.W., Wainaina, M., Lindahl, J., Ontiri, E., Bukachi, S., Njeru, I., Karanja, J., Sang, R., Grace, D. and Bett, B. Leptospira spp. seroprevalence in humans involved in a cross-sectional study in Garissa and Tana River Counties, Kenya. bioRxiv preprint. https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.07.17.208363
  • Njaramba, J.K., Wambua, L., Mukiama, T., Amugune, N.O. and Villinger, J. Species substitution in the meat value chain by high-resolution melt analysis of mitochondrial PCR products. bioRxiv preprint. https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.01.12.426171
  • Njeru, J., Nthiwa, D., Akoko, J., Oyas, H. and Bett, B. Incidence of Brucella spp. in various livestock species raised under the pastoral production system in Isiolo County, Kenya. bioRxiv preprint. https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.06.25.170753
  • Ogutu, H.J., Owiny, M., Bett, B. and Otieno, C. Contribution of livestock marketing chains and role played by stakeholders’ knowledge, attitude and practice in spreading cystic hydatidosis to Busia Town, Kenya, 2018. bioRxiv preprint. https://doi.org/10.1101/638502
  • Talenti, A., Powell, J., Hemmink, J.D., Cook, E.A.J., Wragg, D., Jayaraman, S., Paxton, E., Ezeasor, C., Obishakin, E.T., Agusi, E.R., Tijjani, A., Marshall, K., Fisch, A., Ferreira, B., Qasim, A., Chaudhry, U.N., Wiener, P., Toye, P., Morrison, L.J., Connelley, T. and Prendergast, J. A cattle graph genome incorporating global breed diversity. bioRxiv preprint. https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.06.23.449389 
  • Xie, S., Tao, D., Fu, Y., Xu, B., Tang, Y., Steinaa, L., Hemmink, J.D., Pan, W., Huang, X., Nie, X., Zhao, C., Ruan, J., Zhang, Y., Han, J., Fu, L., Ma, Y., Li, X., Liu, X. and Zhao, S. Rapid visual CRISPR assay: a naked-eye colorimetric detection method for nucleic acids based on CRISPR/Cas12a and convolutional neural network. bioRxiv preprint. https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.07.17.452802

Photo credit: International Open Access Week

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