Publications · January 25, 2023

Do people understand ‘preprints’?

My collaborators and I have a new paper out in Health Communication on public understanding of scientific preprints.

In this study, we found that people noticed when a study’s preprint status was mentioned in a news story, but few understood what it meant – even with a brief explanation. Only a small % saw it as an indicator of preliminary science.

While preprint status disclosure had no impact, hedging of study claims generated less perceived source credibility and lower covid-19 vaccine intentions. Was it just the timing or topic of the study? We try to unpack this in the discussion and outline important next steps for research.

The article can be found here (paywalled) or here (free).