Preprints have become an increasingly important factor in how scientific research reaches the public, and this change has been brought about by COVID-19, writes Brian Owens. Pre-pandemic, peer review before publication was considered vital, but during the pandemic, many researchers found that they needed to find and release information quickly. The use of preprint servers increased, and scientific communication was accelerated as researchers were able to distribute their findings more quickly than if they used the traditional publishing route. Publishers are now typically comfortable with accepting papers that have been posted as preprints, explains Owens, and preprints are now seen as a way to ensure that research is released before others can publish similar research. Owens writes that while those writing about preprints must still do so responsibly, there is an opportunity to provide education on the importance of peer review. University Affairs Note: Archived stories may contain dead links or be missing source links.