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Preprints: The Basics: Home

A guide on what preprints are and why they are beneficial.


What is a preprint?

A preprint is the manuscript of a research paper before peer review, formatting, copy editing, and acceptance from a journal. Preprints are often deposited into preprint servers or online repositories where they are free for all to access. Preprints are different from postprints (also called accepted manuscripts) and final/publisher versions of journal articles. Below is an example of a preprint in the medical preprint server medRxiv (published under a CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license).


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: SHERPA/RoMEO. (n. d.) About: GlossaryASAPbio. (n. d.) Preprint FAQs.; Bourne, P. E., Polka, J. K., Vale, R. D., & Kiley, R. (2017). Ten simple rules to consider regarding preprint submission. PLoS Computational Biology, 13(5), e1005473.

ASAPBio: What are Preprints?