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Preprints: how draft academic papers have become essential in the fight against COVID

By Jonathon Alexis Coates, Postdoctoral Researcher, Queen Mary University of London
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Since the first reported case of COVID-19, cities across the world have shut down, people have stopped socialising and going to work, economies have taken a hit and there have been far too many deaths. But at the same time the scientific community has come together and produced an immense amount of knowledge on the virus, developing multiple vaccines in less than a year.

This has been possible because scientists have rapidly shared their research on COVID-19, and preprints – scientific papers that haven’t been formally reviewed – have proved essential in this effort. In a


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