Several funding agencies have changed their policies surrounding using preprints, and others are considering doing so. We’re collecting relevant examples here. If you have references for us to add, please contact us.


European Research Council

  • Main Changes Expected in the ERC Work Programme 2019 (August 6, 2018): “…preprints may be included [in applicants’ track record], if freely available from a preprint server (preprints should be properly referenced and either a link to the preprint or a DOI should be provided) (page 17, pdf)
  • Starting, Consolidator & Advanced Grants (November 3, 2017): “In evaluating the applicant’s track record preprints, properly referenced and with the DOI and linked to a preprint, may also be taken into consideration.” (page 10, pdf)

UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship program

“UKRI welcomes the inclusion of preprints in publication lists.” (page 16, pdf )

BBSRC (June 12, 2017)

“We encourage all researchers funded by BBSRC to share their pre-peer review manuscripts via established preprint servers, through dedicated repositories or a preprint service.”

Cancer Research UK (May 30, 2017)

“We allow – and encourage – our researchers to deposit preprints of their publications, and to cite preprints and other non-traditional research outputs in their funding applications. We’re updating our application guidelines to make this clear.”

NIH (March 24, 2017)

“The NIH encourages investigators to use interim research products, such as preprints, to speed the dissemination and enhance the rigor of their work.”

“Interim research products can be cited anywhere other research products are cited.”

Note: On March 2, 2018, the NIH clarified that preprints cannot be included in post-submission materials (to update an application before study section) because they do not qualify as unforeseen events.

HHMI (January 30, 2017)

“HHMI laboratory heads may also wish to consider depositing articles in a preprint server, such as BioRxiv. The Institute recognizes deposited, publicly-available preprints as evidence of productivity and will accept them for purposes such as laboratory head reviews.”

“If an Institute laboratory head whose appointment is up for review submits in his or her collection of significant papers an article that has been submitted for publication, but is not yet ‘in press’, then HHMI will not consider the article in the review unless it has been deposited in a preprint server from which it is available to the public. Deposit in a preprint server must occur before the article is submitted for the HHMI review. This policy is effective for investigators who will be reviewed after January 1, 2018. (The investigator is responsible for compliance with the preprint policy of the selected journal.)”

Wellcome Trust (January 10, 2017)

“As of January 2017, we will permit researchers to cite preprints, or pre-peer reviewed manuscripts, in their grant applications and end-of-grant review reports.

Medical Research Council (January 3, 2017)

“…we are allowing researchers to cite preprints in their grant and fellowship applications. This will come into effect with applications received after 1 April 2017…

Preprints may be cited in applications only if they have a permanent identifier such as a DOI or any other persistent identifier.

To discourage ‘salami-slicing’ and because most findings in pre-prints are subsequently included in peer reviewed publications, preprints should only be referenced when they are less than five years old at the time the application is submitted. This requirement will be kept under review.

Human Frontiers Science Program (December 12, 2016)

“The Board of Trustees of the International Human Frontier Science Program Organization (HFSPO) has decided that for competitions starting in calendar year 2017, applicants may list preprint articles in the publication section of HFSP proposals. Current HFSP awardees are also permitted to cite publications which are deposited in freely available preprint repositories in interim and final reports to the Organization.”

Helmsley Trust (September 29, 2016)

“We are excited to announce an important update to our Helmsley grantmaking process, which will now encourage all prospective and current research grantees to list preprint publications in their applications and interim reports.

EMBO Long-Term Fellowships (for postdocs)

“Papers published in preprint servers (arXiv, BioRxiv, PeerJ…) will be taken into consideration, but at least one first-author article in an international peer reviewed journal is required at the time of application (see above). Papers submitted or in preparation, but not yet accessible to the community, will not be considered and should not be included in the list of publications.”

Simons Foundation Policies and Procedures (September 1, 2016)

“The Simons Foundation encourages PIs to post preprints on recognized servers, such as arXiv or bioRxiv, in parallel with (or even before) submission to a peer-reviewed journal.”

Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

eg the Collaborative Science Awards: “To encourage rapid dissemination of results, any publications related to this funded work must be submitted to a preprint server, such as bioRxiv, before the first submission to a journal. Experimental protocols should be made publicly available through a protocol sharing service, such as CZI requests that scientific publications, preprints, and presentations that result from this award be acknowledged as being supported by this funding.”

CIHR (Preprints at CIHR page) (updated September 28, 2017)

“While publication in scientific journals continues to be the primary means of sharing ideas, observations and discoveries, the upload of content to preprint servers does not, of necessity, require simultaneous submission to journals. Preprints offer several areas of opportunity for researchers who wish to distribute work that is not typically published in most journals. For example, preprints serve as an important mechanism for the distribution of negative research results, confirmatory results, reproducibility attempts, and numerous other types of scientific activities. “

“Since the early 2000’s, CIHR has recognized preprints as an important vehicle for the dissemination of research results. Preprints also contribute to the objectives and outcomes of the CIHR Health Research and Health-Related Data Framework.”

More from the CIHR Peer Review Manual for Grant Applications:

“Communications, quick-print reports, letters and electronic distribution of pre-prints are important vehicles for disseminating research results. All such contributions should be treated equally when assessing quality and impact, and reviewers should not regard certain types as “second class” or “grey literature.””