The research up for consideration for a TR Prize comes from Biorxiv and Arxiv. We want people to fund research published on Biorxiv and Arxiv because we want to encourage the dissemination of as much science as possible. Bioxiv and Arxiv are "preprint servers" that enable anyone to submit their research in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, medicine) disciplines for free. This is helpful because not every can afford to publish in traditional academic journals. Currently, we are focusing on biology-related manuscripts (Biorxiv and Arxiv "q-bio" and "physics.bio-ph") but we will expand soon.
The prize amounts will be determined by how many people support the research. We're using a crowdfunding approach, meaning anyone can donate and we’ve installed mechanisms for people to give on the site. Donations can be one-time or monthly. Please donate here.
We support digital currency donations:
Please see this page .
TR Prize reviewing involves ranking each work like it's done with NIH grants. TR Prize reviews are based on the approach, innovation, significance, investigator, and environment. Anyone can review a work by clicking "Write review" under each manuscript. In the future, we will consider enabling researchers control over who reviews their work.
Regarding the review mechanics, we have it set up like granting agencies do where the authors can get feedback and do with the comments what they like but there isn’t a back and forth. We thought this was a unique angle that would be complementary to the preprint servers and help researchers improve the work for whatever path they take with the work.
We believe TR Prize reviews have value when compared to traditional reviews because they are fast (one-month) and can acheive a broad consensus. Traditionally, peer review is performed by a relative small number of people (2-4) over many months if not years.
We're starting with the NIH grant criteria because it's familiar and because it gives a cue to the donors that their money is needed and will go to good use.
Considering this, we see "Investigator" and "Environment" as being strengths for less established labs. We'd like reviewers to consider young investigators as people with potential. Likewise a well-funded lab might get a weak investigator score because they wouldn't be in as great of need for a TR Prize.
We are always open to suggestions on the criteria we enable for TR Prize peer reviewers.
The TR Prize is a 501(c)(3) registered non-profit organization that gives the donations we receive to the researchers who are awarded TR Prizes. A small fraction of the donations go to operating the TR Prize organization, as is needed to pay staff salaries and maintain this website. We contact awarded researchers based on their contact information they include with their manuscripts. We use Stripe for our credit card processing and Coinbase for our cryptocurrencies.
The corresponding authors decide. They can divide the money and spend it however they wish. It doesn't have to go to research. We will contact each corresponding author at the email address they provided in the manuscript they submitted to the preprint server they used.
Yes and No. There is a minimum number of reviews each manuscript must receive in order to be considered for a TR Prize. Therefore, as long as you can obtain this minimum, your manuscript can win. On the other hand, the more reviews a manuscript gets, the better its score. If you are considering submitting your manuscript to Biorxiv/Arxiv late in the month and can wait until the beginning of the next month that will be preferrable. We will re-evaluate our scoring regularly to ensure a fair solution.
Yes, you can log in under a pseudonym. There's no restrictions on who can use the site. Your reviews and donations are private.
The amounts charged by for-profit (and non-profit) publishers varies widely, but in the biological sciences the cost can be $1000-$5000. Preprint servers are free to publish. We think they are a great option.
Funding is one of the incentives we are targeting here with The TR Prize. Academics struggle to fund their research as government budgets stall. Early career investigators face particularly steep challenges to compete financially and reputationally with more established researchers. We hope the TR Prize can provide some financial support. We additionally aim to improve the pace by having fast peer reviews in sync with the one-month funding cycles.
Yes and No. In the US, despite research being largely funded by the public, the publishers of research are allowed by the government, i.e., NIH, to have a six month time-period to profit off of exclusive access to newly published work. Similarly, many journals don't have their back catalogs publicly accessible.
While we hope The TR PRize promotes the use of preprint servers, we have no formal relationship with them. We obtain the manuscripts we post from publicly available, Biorxiv and Arxiv RSS feeds.
The TR Prize was created by Tim R Peterson and colleagues, so the TR Prize name is a play on Tim's name. Tim is an Assistant Professor at Washington University School of Medicine. The TR Prize is not affiliated with Washington University.
Please reach out! We'd love to talk with you.