In academic publishing, a preprint is a version of a scholarly or scientific paper that precedes formal peer review and publication in a peer-reviewed scholarly or scientific journal. The preprint may be available, often as a non-typeset version available free, before and/or after a paper is published in a journal.


Publication of manuscripts in a peer-reviewed journal often takes weeks, months or even years from the time of initial submission, owing to the time required by editors and reviewers to evaluate and critique manuscripts, and the time required by authors to address critiques. The need to quickly circulate current results within a scholarly community has led researchers to distribute documents known as preprints, which are manuscripts that have yet to undergo peer review. They may be considered as grey literature. The immediate distribution of preprints allows authors to receive early feedback from their peers, which may be helpful in revising and preparing articles for submission.[1]

Since 1991, preprints have increasingly been distributed electronically on the Internet, rather than as paper copies. This has given rise to massive preprint databases such as and to institutional repositories. The sharing of preprints goes back to at least the 1960s, when the National Institutes of Health circulated biological preprints. After six years the use of these Information Exchange Groups was stopped, partially because journals stopped accepting submissions shared via these channels.[2]

Today, in some journals, posting preprints may disqualify the research from submission for publication due to the Ingelfinger Rule. The majority of publishers however, do allow work to be published to preprint servers before submission while others do not and are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.[3]

In 2016, several new preprint servers were proposed by Crossref, Centre for Open Science and ASAPbio.[4][5][6]

In January 2017, the Medical Research Council announced that they will now be actively supporting preprints beginning in April 2017.[7] Also in January 2017, Wellcome Trust stated that they will now accept preprints in grant applications.[8] In February 2017, a coalition of scientists and biomedical funding bodies including the National Institutes of Health, the Medical Research Council and the Wellcome Trust launched a proposal for a central site for life-sciences preprints.[9][10][11] In February 2017, SciELO announced plans to set up a preprints server – SciELO Preprints.[12] In March 2017, the National Institutes for Health issued a new policy encouraging research preprint submissions.[13][14] In April 2017, Center for Open Science announced that it will be launching six new preprint archives.[15]

Stages of printing

While a preprint is an article that has not yet undergone peer review, a postprint is an article which has been peer reviewed in preparation for publication in a journal. Both the preprint and postprint may differ from the final published version of an article. Preprints and postprints together are referred to as e-prints or eprints.[16]

The word reprint refers to hard copies of papers that have already been published; reprints can be produced by the journal publisher, but can also be generated from digital versions (for example, from an electronic database of peer-reviewed journals), or from eprints self-archived by their authors in their institutional repositories.

Tenure and promotion

In academia, preprints are not likely to be weighed heavily when a scholar is evaluated for tenure or promotion, unless the preprint becomes the basis for a peer-reviewed publication.[17]

Servers by field


Authorea was launched in 2012 as a collaborative writing platform used by researchers to write, cite, collaborate, host and post their articles. The site is the only preprint server that displays manuscripts as HTML with interactive figures and hosted data.[18]

PeerJ PrePrints is a free preprint server operated by PeerJ. Articles submitted undergo a basic screening process but are not peer-reviewed. Commenting is allowed by any registered user, and download and pageview data are supplied. All articles are published with a CC-BY license. As of September 2016, 2,439 articles have been made available.[19] On September 3rd, 2019 PeerJ PrePrints announced it would stop accepting new preprints as of September 30th, 2019[20]. Zenodo is a repository for research data that has been used also as preprint repository, because it offers document preview and a DOI number for the submitted document. MDPI launched an additional preprint server in 2016.[21][22]

Library and information science

There are two servers for LIS and allied fields: Eprints in Library and Information Science (e-LIS) and the LIS Scholarship Archive (LISSA). e-LIS was launched in 2003, and is an international open access repository for academic papers in Library and Information Science (LIS), run by volunteers. LISSA was launched in 2017 as an open access repository for all materials created by those in LIS and allied fields, including work that happens outside the traditional realms of academia, such as oral histories, community works, code, data, and manuscripts. It is run by members of the library and archives community, and their technology partner, the Center for Open Science, using the Open Science Framework to host materials.

Physical sciences

The e-print archive arXiv (pronounced "archive") is one of the best-known preprint servers. It was created by Paul Ginsparg in 1991 at Los Alamos National Laboratory for the purpose of distributing theoretical high-energy physics preprints.[23] In 2001, moved to Cornell University and now encompasses the fields of physics, mathematics, computer science, quantitative biology, quantitative finance, statistics. Within the field of high-energy physics, the posting of preprints on arXiv is so common that many peer-reviewed journals allow submission of papers from arXiv directly, using the arXiv e-print number.

In some branches of physics, the arXiv database may serve as a focal point for the many criticisms made of the peer review process and peer-reviewed journals. In his column in Physics Today, April 1992, David Mermin described Ginsparg's creation as potentially "string theory's greatest contribution to science". About 8,000 preprints per month are uploaded to arXiv as of 2016.[24]

An engineering preprint server, engrXiv, was launched in 2016 by the Center for Open Science and administrated by the University of Wisconsin–Stout.[25] Whilst under development, it used a temporary email deposit system.[26] As of April 2017, the official home for engrXiv went live after the web interface was launched in December 2016.[27]

The server viXra was established in 2009 for authors who are excluded from arXiv and other repositories owing to submission filtering.[28]

Computer science

The ability to distribute manuscripts as preprints has had a great impact on computer science, particularly in the way that scientific research is disseminated in that field (see CiteSeer). The open access movement has tended to focus on distributed institutional collections of research, global harvesting, and aggregation through search engines and gateways such as OAIster, rather than a global discipline base such as arXiv. E-prints can now refer to any electronic form of a scholarly or scientific publication, including journal articles, conference papers, research theses or dissertations, because these usually are found in multidisciplinary collections, called open access repositories, or eprints archives.[29]

Biological and chemical sciences

The biological sciences have lagged behind the physical sciences in their use of preprints. Based on the success of arXiv, bioRxiv was introduced in 2013, operated by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory,[30][31] Therapoid Preprint was launched in 2017 by Open Therapeutics,[32] and ChemRxiv was announced in 2016 hosted by the American Chemical Society.[33] In 2017, it was confirmed that ChemRxiv will be powered by figshare.[34] Articles undergo basic screening for offensive and/or non-scientific content but do not undergo a peer review process.[35] In early 2019, the Beilstein-Institut announced their intention to provide authors intending to submit to the Beilstein Journals the option to publish a preprint version of their manuscript to the Beilstein Archives with a single click. Preprints published in the Beilstein Archives will be limited to the fields in which the Beilstein Journals covers, namely organic chemistry and nanotechnology.[36]

Between 2007–2012 Nature Publishing Group ran their own preprint server, Nature Precedings. It hosted manuscripts, posters, and unpublished observations.

ASAPbio (Accelerating Science and Publication in biology) is "a scientist-driven initiative to promote innovation and transparency in life sciences communication" through the use of preprints.[37]

Social science and humanities

One of the earlier preprint servers is PhilSci-Archive, launched in 2001 for all subfields of Philosophy of Science, hosted by the University Library System at the University of Pittsburgh.[38]

An open archive of the social sciences. SocArXiv was formed in July 2016 by a group of sociologists, members of the academic library community, and their technology partner, the Center for Open Science, using the Open Science Framework. It is administratively housed at the University of Maryland and directed by Philip Cohen.[39] SocArXiv officially launched in December 2016.[40][41] Frequently asked questions about SocArXiv.[42]

PsyArXiv is a similar preprint service for the psychological sciences which launched in 2016 by the Society for the Improvement of Psychological Science and the Center for Open Science.[43][44][45]

The Social Science Research Network is a repository for both working papers and accepted papers, which shows download and citation data within the site for each stored paper. In May 2016, SSRN was acquired by Elsevier.[46]

Agriculture and allied sciences

Under construction at the end of 2016 is an Agriculture preprint repository AgriXiv which will be launched with support from Open Science Framework.[47][48] AgrXiv was pre-launched in early February 2017 on a staging server on GitHub[49][50] and then formally launched later on 14 February 2017 by the Open Access India, community of practice advocating Open Access in India.[51][52]


Under construction in December 2016 and due to launch in early 2017 is PaleorXiv which will be launched with support from Open Science Framework.[53][54][55] As of May 2017, PaleorXiv is now open for submissions.[56][57] The first submissions appeared online in August 2017.[58]


Under construction in April 2017 is SportRxiv, a preprint archiving service for the sport, exercise, and rehabilitation sciences which was launched in August 2017 with support from Open Science Framework.[59][60][61][62][63][64]


The service LawArXiv 'Legal Scholarship in the Open' was announced in May 2017.[65][66][67][68]

Theses and dissertations

Launched in August 2017 is Thesis Commons, a preprint service for free open publication of student theses and dissertations supported by Open Science Framework.[69]


JMIR Preprints is a preprint server that evolved from JMIR Publications' experiments in open peer-review. It contains primarily submitted manuscripts which are currently under open peer-review.[70]

MedArXiv is a preprint service for the medicine and health sciences which is under development with support from Open Science Framework. It was announced in September 2017 by Harlan Krumholz at American Medical Association's Eighth International Congress on Peer Review and Scientific Publication.[71][72][73]

Geoscience and Earthsciences

Two preprint servers in the field of geoscience were confirmed in September 2017.[74] One option is the Earth and Space Science Open Archive (ESSOAr) run by The American Geophysical Union (AGU) with support from Wiley.[75]

In addition, EarthArXiv run by a group of scientists[76][77] powered by the Center for Open Science launched in October 2017.[78] Post launch, some further resources here.[79][80]

Marine climate science

MarXiv is a free research repository for ocean-conservation and marine-climate science. Initial funding was provided by the David and Lucille Packard Foundation. It is due to launch in November 2017 via the Center for Open Science Preprints framework.[81][82][83]


ECSasXiv is a preprint research repository for electrochemistry, solid state science and technology. It will be run by The Electrochemistry Society and built and hosted by Open Science Framework.[84]


PhilArchive, an archive linked to PhilPapers, is an archive for philosophy in general, while PhilSci-Archive is a research repository for philosophy of science in particular.[85]


EdArXiv, a preprint server for education research was announced on August 19, 2019. It is to be hosted by the Open Science Framework.[86]



A pan-African preprint repository, AfricArxiv was launched in June, 2018.[87]


ArabiXiv (Arabic Science Archive الأرشيف العربي العلمي) is a preprint server that hosts manuscripts (preprints and postprints) in many scientific disciplines mainly in Arabic but other languages are also considered. It has been built in January 2018, in partnership with the Center for Open Science.[88]


FrenXiv will be a preprint server that will host manuscripts in many scientific disciplines in French. It has also been built in partnership with the Center for Open Science.[89]


IndiaRxiv, an open access preprint server for Indian scholars and scholarship launched on 14th August 2019 by the Open Access India community in partnership with Centre for Open Science.[90]


INArxiv is a preprint server for interdisciplinary research in Indonesia which uses the Center for Open Science to host materials.[91] INArxiv was launched in August 2017.[92]

Latin America, Iberian Peninsula, South Africa

Announced in December 2017, SciELO Preprints, a SciELO pre-print server is due to launch in July 2018 built on the Open Science Framework platform used by the Center for Open Science.[93]

See also


  1. "Breaking Down Pros and Cons of Preprints in Biomedicine". Absolutely Maybe. 2016-05-01. Retrieved 2018-01-12.
  2. Cobb, Matthew (16 November 2017). "The prehistory of biology preprints: A forgotten experiment from the 1960s". PLOS Biology. 15 (11): e2003995. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.2003995. PMC 5690419. PMID 29145518.
  3. "Taking the online medicine". The Economist. ISSN 0013-0613. Retrieved 2016-03-23.
  4. "Getting ready to run with preprints, any day now". Crossref Blog. 2016-08-16. Retrieved 2018-09-06.
  5. "Creation of a Central Preprint Service for the Life Sciences". ASAPbio. Retrieved 2016-08-18.
  6. "The Acceleration of Open Access". Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved 2016-10-31.
  7. "The MRC supports preprints". Medical Research Council. 2017-01-03. Retrieved 2018-09-06.
  8. "We now accept preprints in grant applications". Wellcome. Retrieved 2017-01-10.
  9. Callaway, Ewen (2017-02-16). "Heavyweight funders back central site for life-sciences preprints". Nature. 542 (7641): 283–284. Bibcode:2017Natur.542..283C. doi:10.1038/nature.2017.21466. PMID 28202994.
  10. "Principles for establishing a Central Service for Preprints: a statement from a consortium of funders | ASAPbio". Retrieved 2017-02-13.
  11. "ASAPbio newsletter vol 7 – Funders sign onto principles for preprint development, RFA released, scientific society town hall | ASAPbio". Retrieved 2017-02-14.
  12. "SciELO Preprints on the way". SciELO in Perspective. 2017-02-22. Retrieved 2017-02-22.
  13. "NOT-OD-17-050: Reporting Preprints and Other Interim Research Products". Retrieved 2017-03-25.
  14. "NIH enables investigators to include draft preprints in grant proposals". Science | AAAS. 2017-03-24. Retrieved 2017-03-27.
  15. "Public Goods Infrastructure for Preprints and Innovation in Scholarly Communication". Retrieved 2017-04-19.
  16. "Self-archiving FAQ". EPrints.
  17. Callaway, Ewen; Powell, Kendall (2016-02-18). "Biologists urged to hug a preprint". Nature. 530 (7590): 265. Bibcode:2016Natur.530..265C. doi:10.1038/530265a. PMID 26887471.
  18. "Introducing the 21st-century preprint: HTML, versioned, citable, data-rich". Authorea.
  20. "PeerJ Preprints to stop accepting new preprints Sep 30th 2019 – PeerJ Blog". Retrieved 2019-10-01.
  22. "Introducing Preprints: A Multidisciplinary Open Access Preprint Platform". 2016-07-28. Retrieved 2016-08-01.
  23. Richard Van Noorden (December 30, 2014). "The arXiv preprint server hits 1 million articles". Nature. Retrieved 2015-09-07.
  24. "Taking the online medicine". The Economist. ISSN 0013-0613. Retrieved 2016-03-23.
  25. "engrXiv Blog | Announcing engrXiv, the eprint server for engineering". Retrieved 2016-08-11.
  26. "OSF | Temporary Home of engrXiv Presentations". Retrieved 2016-08-11.
  27. "engrXiv Blog". Retrieved 2017-04-13.
  28. Luis Reyes-Galindo (2016). "Automating the Horae: Boundary-work in the age of computers". Social Studies of Science. 46 (4): 586–606. arXiv:1603.03824. doi:10.1177/0306312716642317. PMID 28948871.
  29. Graziotin, Daniel; Wang, Xiaofeng; Abrahamsson, Pekka (2014). "A framework for systematic analysis of open access journals and its application in software engineering and information systems". Scientometrics. 101 (3): 1627–1656. arXiv:1308.2597. doi:10.1007/s11192-014-1278-7.
  30. "Taking the online medicine". The Economist. ISSN 0013-0613. Retrieved 2016-03-23.
  31. "All Articles | bioRxiv". Retrieved 2016-10-04.
  32. "A philosophy for Opening Biotechnology Collaboration for Therapeutics - PrePrint Service | Open Therapeutics". Retrieved 2017-05-12.
  33. Widener, Andrea. "ACS launches chemistry preprint server | Chemical & Engineering News". Retrieved 2016-08-11.
  34. "ChemRxiv | Research Information". Retrieved 2017-08-16.
  37. "About ASAPbio". ASAPbio. Retrieved 17 August 2018.
  38. "History". PhilSci-Archive. Retrieved August 26, 2016.
  39. "Announcing the development of SocArXiv". 2016-07-09. Retrieved 2016-08-10.
  40. Cohen, Philip N. (2016-12-07). "SocArXiv launches, brings sociology and social science into the open, with new grant support". SocOpen: Home of SocArXiv. Retrieved 2016-12-07.
  41. epopp, Author (2016-12-10). "New site up: Here are our most downloaded papers". SocOpen: Home of SocArXiv. Retrieved 2016-12-10.
  42. "FAQ". SocOpen: Home of SocArXiv. 2017-03-31. Retrieved 2017-04-01.
  43. "OSF | Temporary Home of PsyArXiv Presentations". Retrieved 2016-08-18.
  44. "Introducing PsyArXiv: a preprint service for psychological science – PsyArXiv Blog". 2016-09-19. Retrieved 2016-09-20.
  45. "Introducing PsyArXiv: Psychology's dedicated open access digital archive – PsyArXiv Blog". PsyArXiv Blog. 2016-12-08. Retrieved 2016-12-10.
  46. "SSRN—the leading social science and humanities repository and online community—joins Elsevier". Retrieved 2016-08-10.
  47. "AgriXiv (@AgriXiv) | Twitter". Retrieved 2016-12-10.
  48. "AgriXiv". AgriXiv. Retrieved 2016-12-10.
  49. "AgriXiv on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 2017-02-06.
  50. "AgriXriv Preprints". Retrieved 2017-02-08.
  52. "Center for Open Science Releases Another Branded Preprint Service With AgriXiv". Retrieved 2017-02-15.
  53. "paleorxiv (@paleorxiv) | Twitter". Retrieved 2017-01-23.
  54. "paleorxiv on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 2017-01-23.
  55. "paleorxiv on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 2017-03-24.
  56. "PaleorXiv: Now open for submissions!". 2017-05-09.
  57. "PaleorXiv - Green Tea and Velociraptors". Green Tea and Velociraptors. Retrieved 2017-05-20.
  58. "Preprint Archive Search". 18 August 2017. Retrieved 18 August 2017.
  59. "SportRxiv on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 2017-04-21.
  60. "SportRxiv.pdf". Google Docs. Retrieved 2017-04-21.
  61. "Brian Nosek on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 2017-04-21.
  62. SportRχiv (2017-08-29). "We are very pleased to announce that SportRxiv is live! Visit and share to the archive via . Retweets appreciated". @SportRxiv. Retrieved 2017-08-29.
  63. " – The open archive for sport-related research". Retrieved 2017-08-29.
  64. "First repository dedicated to sport and exercise related research goes online | University of Essex". Retrieved 2017-08-29.
  65. Price, Gary. "LawArXiv, a New Preprint Service From the Center for Open Science Debuts Online". LJ INFOdocket. Retrieved 2017-05-08.
  66. "LawArXiv (@lawarxiv) | Twitter". Retrieved 2017-05-08.
  67. "About". Retrieved 2017-05-13.
  68. "Cornell Law Library's LawArXiv Removes Paywall from Scholarship, Goes Open Source". Legaltech News. Retrieved 2017-05-17.
  69. "Center for Open Science Launches Thesis Commons, an Open-source Platform for Theses and Dissertations". Retrieved 2017-08-16.
  70. "What are JMIR Preprints?". JMIR Publications.
  71. "The YODA Project | MedArXiv". Retrieved 2017-09-13.
  72. Krumholz, Harlan (12 September 2017). "This is about bringing preprint server like @arxiv @biorxivpreprint to clinical medicine". @hmkyale. Retrieved 2017-09-13.
  73. "Plan for new medical preprint server receives a mixed response". 2017-09-12.
  74. "Dueling preprint servers coming for the geosciences". Science | AAAS. 2017-09-22. Retrieved 2017-09-25.
  75. "Earth and Space Science Open Preprint Server to Be Powered by AGU and Atypon - AGU Newsroom". AGU Newsroom. Retrieved 2017-09-25.
  76. "EarthArXiv (@EarthArXiv) | Twitter". Retrieved 2017-09-25.
  77. Jackson, Christopher (23 October 2017). "Congrats to the inaugural members of the @EarthArXiv Steering Committee! T-minus 36". @seis_matters. Retrieved 2017-10-23.
  78. "EarthArXiv". Open Science Framework. Retrieved 24 October 2017.
  79. "Community-Driven Science: An Interview With EarthArXiv Founders Chris Jackson, Tom Narock and Bruce Caron". Center for Open Science. October 24, 2017. Retrieved October 27, 2017.
  80. "EarthArXiv wants your preprints". Agile. Retrieved 2017-10-27.
  81. "MarXiv". Archived from the original on 2017-10-20. Retrieved 2017-10-19.
  82. "MarXiv Preprint (@MarXivPreprint) | Twitter". Retrieved 2017-10-19.
  83. "Making Your Research Freely-Available with MarXiv: The (free!) research repository for ocean-conservation and marine-climate science | OpenChannels: Sustainable Ocean Management and Conservation". Archived from the original on 2017-10-24. Retrieved 2017-10-23.
  84. "ECSarXiv Coming Soon - ECS". ECS. Retrieved 2017-11-27.
  85. "Archive Policy". PhilSci-Archive. Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  86. "Center for Open Science and EdArXiv Launch Branded Preprint Service for Educational Research". Retrieved 2019-08-19.
  87. "AuthorAID - Guest post: Introducing AfricArxiv - a preprint repository for African researchers". Retrieved 2018-08-24.
  88. "Brief US shutdown, harassment data and electric fishing". 2018-01-24. Bibcode:2018Natur.553..384.. doi:10.1038/d41586-018-01072-8. Retrieved 2018-01-25.
  89. "Brief US shutdown, harassment data and electric fishing". 2018-01-24. Bibcode:2018Natur.553..384.. doi:10.1038/d41586-018-01072-8. Retrieved 2018-01-25.
  90. "Center for Open Science and IndiaRxiv Launch Branded Preprint Service". Retrieved 2019-10-12.
  91. "INArxiv". Center for Open Science.
  92. Irawan, Dasapta Erwin (2017-08-14). "INA-Rxiv". Good Science Indonesia. Retrieved 2017-09-26.
  93. "SciELO Indexing Criteria align with open science communication | SciELO in Perspective". SciELO in Perspective. 2018-01-10. Retrieved 2018-01-14.
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.