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Editorial Snapshot: How COVID-19 changed the face of academic publishing

- C.C., Editor

The wake of the COVID-19 pandemic has had wide-reaching impacts on society in a multitude of ways. It should come as no surprise then, that it has also dramatically changed the face of academic publishing, with these effects even being the subject of study by researchers. And, it is clear that over the course of the pandemic the industry has made some surprising adaptations.

For example, the widespread use of pre-print servers such as bioRxiv has helped crucial research on COVID-19 reach its critical audience while awaiting formal review and publication, and allows researchers to make better assessments of the dynamic research landscape. Going even further, the process of review itself is often expedited adding yet another avenue through which ease of access has been increased. These crucial developments, and the early commitment of a myriad of reputable publishers to the free and accessible use of COVID-19 related research can be said to be a landmark achievement, unprecedented in the history of the industry. Incidentally, this is not unlike the unprecedented speed with which the COVID-19 vaccines were developed, which was undoubtedly achieved in part owing to these flexible developments in publishing.

What now remains to be seen is how, and whether, these changes will persist once the crisis of the present pandemic wanes and the urgency that was felt so strongly in those early days begins to fade.

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