A preprint, also known as the Author’s Original Manuscript (AOM), is the version of an article that precedes formal peer review.
Some authors may post their preprints on a preprint server before submitting to a journal to enjoy the benefits brought by preprints.
Depositing preprints can bring about benefits including:
The research can become available for others to read before the final version is published. As publication times can sometimes be lengthy, this enables other researchers to see the research more quickly.
Preprint servers typically assign a DOI (Digital Object Identifier) to a preprint, which can help to create a record of research and establish primacy for the discoveries without having to wait for the final version to be published.
Posting a preprint allows other researchers to offer feedback which may help to improve the article before the formal journal peer review process.
The research presented in a preprint will be publicly available for other researchers to cite and build upon more quickly.
The above list is not exhaustive, and only reflects the situation when the list was compiled.
For latest information, please refer to the guidelines for authors of the journals.
Your Pre-posting Preprint Checklist by PLOS. https://plos.org/open-science/preprints/preprint-checklist/
Readers should always bear in mind that preprints must be understood as an incomplete work in progress, in which the findings presented are yet to be vetted and should be examined with caution.
For example, medRxiv displays a message to caution readers:
Preprints are preliminary reports of work that have not been certified by peer review. They should not be relied on to guide clinical practice or health-related behavior and should not be reported in news media as established information.
The preprints discussion document (p.4) by COPE (Committee on Publication Ethics), of which many major publishers, such as Elsevier, Sage, Springer Nature, Taylor and Francis, and Wiley, are members, states that:
Nonetheless, different publishers may have different policies regarding citation of preprints.
For example, Nature states in its formatting guide that:
Only articles that have been published or accepted by a named publication, or that have been uploaded to a recognized preprint server (for example, arXiv, bioRxiv), should be in the reference list.
Authors should always check the journal's formatting guide regarding citation of preprints.
Arts and Humanities
Business and Economics
This above list is not exhaustive.
List of preprint servers: policies and practices across platforms by ASAPbio. https://asapbio.org/preprint-servers
Preprint Citation Index in Web of Science is a multidisciplinary collection of preprints from a wide range of leading preprint repositories.
It currently enables discovery of approximately 2.5M preprint records in 5 repositories:
To discover preprints with Preprint Citation Index, you can:
Preprint searching is now available via Scopus. It currently covers approximately 1.8M preprint records (as of June 2023) from the following seven preprint servers:
To discover preprints with Scopus, you can: