Scholarly Publishing

Tips for how to choose a journal to publish in, open access journals, pitfalls to avoid

What are Preprints?

A preprint is a full draft of a research paper that is shared publicly before it has been peer reviewed.
In today’s scholarly publishing world, preprints are frequently given a digital object identifier (DOI) so they can be cited in other research papers.

Benefits of Pre-prints

Immediate exposure
  • a preprint allows you to get your research findings out as soon as possible. This can make your research more visible to others and put it to work more quickly.
Credit
  • by publishing a preprint you can put a public date stamp on your findings. This prevents your research being "scooped" by others during the slow journal peer review process.
     
  • a preprint gives you a citable output with a DOI, which you can include when writing grants, applying for jobs and seeking promotion, if the formal output is still pending.
Robust science
  • opening up your working version for comment can help you identify weaknesses and errors, and ultimately improve the paper that gets submitted for formal publication. This produces more robust science, and makes eventual peer review and editorial processes more efficient.

Click on the image below to explore Dan Quintana's experience with posting Preprints.

Myths about Pre-prints

Some researchers have raised valid concerns about preprints, but as they continue to become more popular, the benefits outweigh the risks.

  • Many are concerned findings/research maybe be "scooped" by other researchers in their field. In fact, Pre-prints guard against this by the generation of a DOI which publicly establishes a permanent record of ownership and can be referenced in any dispute over who discovered something first.
     
  • Posting a preprint may have caused a journal to reject the submission for prior publication, and some still share this concern. However, the vast majority of journals now acknowledge the utility of preprints and encourage (or at least allow) their use. It is best to contact journals you frequently submit to or consult their guidelines to confirm their policy on preprints.

PrePrints and Research Elements

At this stage it is not acceptable to submit a preprint (an unrefereed version) to Research Elements as significant changes may be introduced to an article as a result of the peer review process.

Pre-print repositories