"Preprints" are preliminary versions of scientific manuscripts that researchers share by posting to online platforms known as preprint servers before peer-review and publication in an academic journal. Preprint servers are publicly available online archives that host preprints and their associated data. They typically employ basic screening processes to guard against "offensive and/or non-scientific content and for material that might pose a health or biosecurity risk. However, these screening processes do not share the rigor of peer-review.
Is a Preprint Service Right for You?
A few reasons why you might consider publishing with preprint servers:
Raise your research visibility
Improve your research by receiving feedback from your peers
Indicate research productivity in grant writing
First opportunity to exhibit scientific breakthroughs
As opposed to the lengthy peer-reviewed journal process, preprints can be made available immediately. Each manuscript will receive a digital object identifier (DOI) and will be indexed by Google Scholar and Altmetrics. Increasingly, funders such as NIH are allowing preprints in grant applications.
Journals being considered for publication need to be evaluated for preprint policies. Some journals will consider preprints in the determination of future publishing of the manuscript.