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Preprints and Other MDPI Initiatives

22 Oct 2020, 00:00

Open Access, Preprints, Initiatives
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Webinar Information

Preprints and Other MDPI Initiatives

Open Access Week starts next Monday, 19 October 2020. It is held globally, by institutions in more than one hundred countries, to advance academic open access publishing. The event serves as a great opportunity to share experiences made with the transition to open access and to remind people (if we want to be more specific: to remind the academic community) of the benefits of making research openly available, without barriers and delays. Open Access Week was initiated by SPARC, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, thirteen years ago. Open Access publishing has come a long way since, but there is more to be done.

Our open access advocates would normally visit universities on occasion of OA Week. With travel very limited this year, at MDPI we have decided to celebrate this important event with a webinar, to be held 22 October 2020 (15:00 - 16:30 CET). We welcome you to join to learn about MDPI's free and open Preprints database and other initiatives for opening up research.

In the webinar, Dr. Jessica Polka, Executive Director at ASAPbio, will be discussing the increasing importance of preprints in the realm of scholarly publishing. Making pre-peer-review versions of articles widely available helps to disseminate research findings early on. Dr. Unai Vicario, who is a publisher at MDPI, will then talk about our latest initiatives for the scientific community.

Date: 22 October 2020

Time: 3:00pm (CEST) | 9:00am (EDT) | 9:00pm (CST Asia)

Webinar ID: 814 4673 3473

The following experts will present and speak:

Dr. Jessica Polka, Executive Director, ASAPbio

Jessica Polka, PhD serves as Executive Director of ASAPbio, a researcher-driven nonprofit organization working to promote innovation and transparency in life sciences publishing in areas such as preprinting and open peer review. Prior to this, she performed postdoctoral research in the department of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School following a PhD in Biochemistry & Cell Biology from UCSF. Jessica is also a Plan S Ambassador, an affiliate of the Knowledge Futures Group, and a steering committee member of Rescuing Biomedical Research.

Dr. Unai Vicario, Publisher Manager, MDPI

Dr. Unai Vicario joined MDPI in May 2016. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry followed by a Master of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology (2008); he received his PhD on this same topic from the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) in 2016. Unai has worked as co-Managing Editor for IJERPH, Managing Editor for Children and Fishes, and Section Managing Editor in the section on Animal Genetics and Genomics in Genes. He has also served as Editorial Section Leader in Barcelona. In 2019, he was appointed Publisher, and since 2020 he serves as Publisher Manager in Barcelona to develop constructive relationships with learned societies and institutions. His mission is to improve the publishing experience for the scientific community and promote the Open Access model. Unai is the Scientific Officer for Public Health related issues, serves as advisory for the Communication Committee and chairs the Acquisition and Transfer Committee in MDPI.


Information Time (CEST)


Dr. Unai Vicario



Dr. Jessica Polka


MDPI Initiatives

Dr. Unai Vicario


Q&A session and Closing

Dr. Unai Vicario


Webinar Content

The Preprints and Other MDPI Initiatives was held on October 22, 2020, and counted with two advocates on the Open Access.

Dr. Unai Vicario, a publisher at MDPI, started the session presenting the importance of preprints in the Open Access world, and explaining how MDPI deals with preprints. After that, Dr. Jessica Polka, Executive Director at ASAPbio, continued the discussion on the increasing importance of preprints in the realm of scholarly publishing, highlighting the possibilities that making pre-peer-review versions of articles widely available offer to research dissemination. Dr. Vicario ended the session explaining in more details the whole portfolio of tools MDPI has, to allow the scientific community in publishing, disseminating and promoting their research. All presentations were followed by a discussion and Q&A session moderated by the chair.

The webinar was offered via Zoom and required registration to attend. The full recording can be found below.

To stay updated on upcoming webinars organized by MDPI, be sure to sign up for our newsletter by clicking on “Subscribe” at the top of the page.

The 2nd Basel Sustainable Publishing Forum (BSPF)

Want to delve deeper into Open Access? Join us at the 2nd Basel Sustainable Publishing Forum (BSPF), held virtually from 26-27 October 2020.

The aim of the forum is to offer a platform for an open and constructive conversation between researchers, learned societies, university librarians, funding agencies, scholarly publishers, publishing platforms, and other concerned stakeholders (professional associations, etc.) to identify implementable solutions for a sustainable global transition to open access. A main topic of discussion of BSPF2 will be the challenges facing learned societies in this transition to Open Access, but the conference will also cover a broad array of topics relevant to these challenges, like the development of alternative metrics, the evaluation and promotion of researchers, the OA price transparency, the current situation and limitations of transformative agreements, copyright, etc.

This will be a unique opportunity to work together towards sustainable solutions for a successful global transition to open access.

For more information, please visit our website:

To register, please click here.

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