# Preprint

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.

## Role

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 arXiv.org and to institutional repositories.

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.[2]

In 2016, several new preprint servers were proposed by Crossref, Centre for Open Science and ASAPbio.[3][4][5]

In January 2017, the Medical Research Council announced that they will now be actively supporting preprints with effect from April 2017.[6] Also in January 2017, Wellcome Trust stated that they will now accept preprints in grant applications.[7] 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.[8][9][10] In February 2017, SciELO announced plans to set up a preprints server – SciELO Preprints.[11] In March 2017, the National Institutes for Health issued a new policy encouraging research preprint submissions.[12][13] In April 2017, Center for Open Science announced that it will be launching six new preprint archives.[14]

### 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.[15]

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.[16]

## Servers by field

### General

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.[17]

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.[18] 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.[19][20]

### 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.[21] In 2001, arXiv.org 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.[22]

An engineering preprint server, engrXiv, was launched in 2016 by the Center for Open Science and administrated by the University of Wisconsin–Stout.[23] Whilst under development, it used a temporary email deposit system.[24] As of April 2017, the official home for engrXiv went live after the web interface was launched in December 2016.[25]

The server viXra was established in 2009 for authors who are excluded from arXiv.org and other repositories due to submission filtering.[26]

### 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.[27]

### 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,[28][29] Therapoid Preprint was launched in 2017 by Open Therapeutics,[30] and ChemRxiv was announced in 2016 hosted by the American Chemical Society.[31] In 2017, it was confirmed that ChemRxiv will be powered by figshare.[32] Articles undergo basic screening for offensive and/or non-scientific content but do not undergo a peer review process.[33] 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.[34]

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.[35]

### 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.[36]

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.[37] SocArXiv officially launched in December 2016.[38][39] Frequently asked questions about SocArXiv.[40]

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.[41][42][43]

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.[44]

### 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.[45][46] AgrXiv was pre-launched in early February 2017 on a staging server on GitHub[47][48] and then formally launched later on 14th February 2017 by the Open Access India, community of practice advocating Open Access in India.[49][50]

### Paleontology

Under construction in December 2016 and due to launch in early 2017 is PaleorXiv which will be launched with support from Open Science Framework.[51][52][53] As of May 2017, PaleorXiv is now open for submissions.[54][55] The first submissions appeared online in August 2017.[56]

### Sport

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.[57][58][59][60][61][62]

### Law

The service LawArXiv 'Legal Scholarship in the Open' was announced in May 2017.[63][64][65][66]

### 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.[67]

### Medicine

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.[68]

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.[69][70][71]

### Geoscience and Earthsciences

Two preprint servers in the field of geoscience were confirmed in September 2017.[72] One option is the Earth and Space Science Open Archive (ESSOAr) run by The American Geophysical Union (AGU) with support from Wiley.[73]

In addition, EarthArXiv run by a group of scientists[74][75] powered by the Center for Open Science launched in October 2017.[76] Post launch, some further resources here.[77][78]

### 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.[79][80][81]

### Electrochemistry

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.[82]

### Regional

#### Africa

A pan-African preprint repository, AfricArxiv was launched in June, 2018[83].

#### Arabic

ArabiXiv 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.[84]

#### French

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.[85]

#### India

IndiaRxiv, an open access preprint server for Indian scholars and scholarship will shortly be launched in partnership with Centre for Open Science.[86]

#### Indonesia

INArxiv is a preprint server for interdisciplinary research in Indonesia which uses the Center for Open Science to host materials.[87] INArxiv was launched in August 2017.[88]

#### 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.[89]

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