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Title: Preprint  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Scientific literature, Open access, Grey literature, Academic publishing, Publishing
Collection: Academic Publishing, Publications by Format, Publishing, Scientific Documents
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


In academic publishing, a preprint is a draft of a scientific paper that has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.


  • Role 1
    • Stages of printing 1.1
    • Tenure and promotion 1.2
  • Preprint server by research field 2
    • arXiv – physics, mathematics, computer science, quantitative biology and finance, statistics 2.1
    • bioRxiv – biology 2.2
    • Nature Precedings – biology, medicine, chemistry, earth science 2.3
    • PeerJ PrePrints – biology, medicine, health sciences 2.4
    • Philica – any fields 2.5
    • Sciencepaper Online – any fields 2.6
    • Social Science Research Network – social science and humanities 2.7
  • Computer preprints 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


Publication of manuscripts in a peer-reviewed journal often takes weeks, months or even years from the time of initial submission, because manuscripts must undergo extensive reviewer critique. The need to quickly circulate current results within a scientific 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.

Since 1991, preprints have increasingly been distributed electronically on the institutional repositories.[1]

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.[2]

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, such as EBSCOhost), 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.

Preprint server by research field

arXiv – physics, mathematics, computer science, quantitative biology and finance, statistics

The e-print archive (pronounced like "archive") was created by 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".

bioRxiv – biology

bioRxiv is operated by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. All articles submitted undergo a basic screening process for offensive and/or non-scientific content but do not undergo a peer review process.[4]

Nature Precedings – biology, medicine, chemistry, earth science

Nature Precedings was a free electronic repository for preprints of scientific manuscripts, posters, and unpublished observations. It was operated from 2007–2012 by Nature Publishing Group.

PeerJ PrePrints – biology, medicine, health sciences

PeerJ PrePrints is a free preprint server operated by PeerJ. All 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.[5]

Philica – any fields

See also Open peer review

Sciencepaper Online – any fields

Sciencepaper Online[6] is a website approved by the Ministry of Education (China) and under the administration of the Center for Science and Technology Development of the Ministry.

Social Science Research Network – social science and humanities

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.

Computer preprints

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.

See also


  1. ^ Stephen Curry (September 7, 2015). "Peer review, preprints and the speed of science".  
  2. ^ "Self-archiving FAQ". EPrints.
  3. ^ Richard Van Noorden (December 30, 2014). "The arXiv preprint server hits 1 million articles".  
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^

External links

  • Eysenbach G. "The impact of preprint servers and electronic publishing on biomedical research". Curr Opin Immunol. 2000 Oct;12(5):499–503
  • Eysenbach G. "Challenges and changing roles for medical journals in the cyberspace age: Electronic pre-prints and e-papers". J Med Internet Res 1999;1(2):e9
  • Electronic Preprints and Postprints, in Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science. Marcel Dekker.
  • Inefuku, Harrison W. "Pre-Print, Post-Print or Offprint? A Guide to publication versions, permissions and the digital repository." Ames, IA: Digital Repository @ Iowa State University, 14 January 2013.
  • Journal policies on preprints from Nature Precedings forum
  • Pre-print, post-print, definitions and terms as defined by SHERPA (organisation)
  • Preprint, Postprint as defined by Crossref
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