Preprints: The Basics: Home
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What is a preprint?
A preprint is a research manuscript that has not yet been peer reviewed. Preprints are often deposited into preprint servers or online repositories where they are free for all to access, and may be updated or revised on these sites as well. Preprints are different from postprints (also called accepted or author manuscripts) and final/published versions of journal articles. When looking at a preprint, it is important to be aware that the details of the research found within it are subject to change after the manuscript is peer reviewed.
Preprints have many benefits, including:
- quicker dissemination and discussion of research results
- feedback from the research community on improving papers before submitting to journals
- helping to prove originality of work due to timestamps and DOIs
- providing access to work that would not otherwise be published
- advancement for tenure and grants
Sources: ASAPbio [Internet]. San Francisco CA: ASAPbio; c2021. Preprint FAQs; 2021 April; [about 10 screens]. Available from: https://asapbio.org/preprint-info/preprint-faq
Bourne PE, Polka JK, Vale RD, Kiley R. Ten simple rules to consider regarding preprint submission. PLoS Computational Biology. 2017 May 4;13(5):e1005473. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1005473
SHERPA/RoMEO [Internet]. Bristol UK: Jisc; [date unknown]. About: Glossary; [date unknown]; [about 1 screen]. Available from: https://v2.sherpa.ac.uk/romeo/about.html
U.S. National Library of Medicine [Internet]. Bethesda MD: National Institutes of Health; c2020. NIH preprint pilot; 2021 May 19; [about 5 screens]. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/about/nihpreprints/
Image from National Library of Medicine.
Preprints: Accelerating ResearchA tutorial from the National Library of Medicine explaining what preprints are, how to find them, and considerations for using them in research.
NIH Preprint Pilot: A Librarian ToolkitNot just for librarians; includes tips and tools about various aspects of preprints, including information for NIH-supported investigators, policies, and peer review tools.