Open Access to Research on the Human Mind and Contemplative Practices

The Mind & Life Institute launches MindRxiv, a free preprint server sharing research in the contemplative sciences

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Virginia, August 29, 2017 — At a time when it seems like almost all information is available at the touch of a screen, much scientific research is still trapped behind the paywalls of academic journals. Fortunately, access to this research is now opening up, through “preprint” servers that make scholarly research publicly available for free.

MindRxiv is the latest such preprint server, providing an open archive of research on the human mind and contemplative practices. The server is managed by the Mind & Life Institute and hosted by the nonprofit Center for Open Science (COS). MindRxiv provides a platform for contemplative researchers within the sciences and humanities to upload working papers, preprints, published papers, data and code, all freely available to the public. This service is part of Mind & Life’s commitment to reach more people more effectively, to improve research practices and to accelerate dissemination of information for the benefit of society.

“This is an ideal way for contemplative researchers to share their work, both with peers and the public, who increasingly want to incorporate findings into their work and their lives,” said Wendy Hasenkamp, Science Director for Mind & Life. “All completed work related to mind and contemplative practice/philosophy is welcome, including scientific research, contextual studies, theoretical models and critical commentaries.”

Preprint servers offer a number of benefits over traditional academic journals. Researchers are able to post their findings as soon as the study is complete, speeding dissemination of results considerably. Preprints are freely available to anyone, which enhances the peer-review process, and leaves a clear historical record of changes. Increasing possibilities for peer feedback can also improve the quality of a manuscript, leading to more impactful publications. And increasingly, trade journals will accept work that has been shared previously as a preprint.

Scholars, scientists and applied research professionals in the contemplative sciences are encouraged to submit papers to MindRxiv. The goal is for MindRxiv to be a central, open repository for emerging work across the many disciplines in the broader field, integrating basic, clinical and social sciences, as well as the humanities. The server is also a resource to view the latest thinking in the field of contemplative sciences.

The Mind & Life Institute is a nonprofit organization founded in 1991, providing grant funding for research projects and think tanks, and hosting academic conferences and dialogues with leading thinkers and spiritual leaders like the Dalai Lama. Its mission is to alleviate suffering and promote flourishing by advancing the interdisciplinary field of contemplative sciences, deepening understanding of the mind, and promoting evidence-based applications of meditative practices in real-world contexts.

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