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Scholarly Communication: Preprints

What are Preprints?

Youreka Science. (2016). Youreka Science: What Are Preprints? . IBiology.

Preprints, Published Manuscripts, and Published Articles Defined

Elsevier. (2021). Journals Article Sharing: Policies.

Publishers/Journals - Preprint Policies



Publishers and journals have a varying opinion on the use and existence of preprints before publication in a journal.  Use the following database to get a sense of their policies while keeping in mind that you should go to their actual website for confirmation.

Transpose - A database of journal policies on peer review, co-reviewing, and preprinting

Selecting Repositories

You don't want to place your preprint just anywhere. The National Institutes of health provides some guidance for selecting a preprint repository.

Guidance for selecting interim research product repositories

Interim research products rely on repositories to make them public.  The repository market is growing rapidly, and in many scientific disciplines, norms for interim research products are still evolving. 

The NIH would like to ensure that practices for interim products facilitate the impact, measurement and the integrity of the scientific record. Specifically, the NIH strongly encourages interim research products arising from NIH funds to be deposited in repositories that ensure: 

  • Content is findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable.
  • Interim product metadata, including usage statistics, are open, and easy to access by machines and people (e.g. via application program interfaces).
  • Content is easy to use by machines and people. This access is both a function of permission (e.g. use of Creative Commons licenses) and technology (e.g. application program interfaces).
  • Policies about plagiarism, competing interests, misconduct and other hallmarks of reputable scholarly publishing are rigorous and transparent.
  • Records of changes to the product are maintained, and users have clear ways to cite different versions of the product.
  • Links to the NIH recommends awardees to select a select a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license or dedicate their work to the public domain.  published version, if available.
  • A robust archiving strategy that ensures long-term preservation and access.

National Institutes of Health. (2017). NOT-OD-17-050: Reporting preprints and other interim research products. Reporting Preprints and Other Interim Research Products.

Preprint Repositories

The following is a list of some of the most well-known preprint servers.

            "A free preprint service for the psychological sciences Maintained by The Society for the Improvement of Psychological Science"

Open science preprints

"PLOS is a nonprofit, Open Access publisher empowering researchers to accelerate progress in science and medicine by leading a transformation in research communication."