What is a preprint?
A preprint is a scientific manuscript that is uploaded by the authors to a public server. The preprint contains data and methods, but has not yet been accepted by a journal. While some servers perform brief quality-control inspections (see details on the practices of individual servers), the author’s manuscript is typically posted online within a day or so without peer review and can be viewed (and possibly translated, reposted, or used in other ways, depending on the license) without charge by anyone in the world. Most preprint servers support versioning, or the posting of updated versions of your paper based upon feedback and/or new data. However, most servers also retain prior preprint versions which cannot typically be removed to preserve the scholarly record. Preprints allow scientists to directly control the dissemination of their work to the world-wide scientific community.
Have more questions about preprints? Visit our FAQ.
Browse our infographics and FAQ about preprints, including special sections for submitting, scooping, and licensing.
Discover funder, journal, institutional, and server policies.
Ready to spread the word about preprints? There are many ways to help awareness grow.
Learn more about preprints
Learn more about preprints with infographics developed by the ASAPbio Fellows Ana Dorrego-Rivas, Carrie Iwema and Mafalda Pimentel.
Frequently Asked Questions
Preprints and Publishing in the Life and Biomedical Sciences course
A 4-lesson course on preprints and the traditional journal-dependent publication process.
The course modules provide insights into the following topics in the context of the life and biomedical sciences:
- An introduction into the evolving publication landscape
- Understanding and engaging with preprints
- The editorial process and peer review
- How to effectively and responsibly communicate scientific research
Videos and further reading
Current policies and practices
What happens when you preprint?
Hear first-hand stories from biologists and others about their experience preprinting and the impact it had on their science and interactions with their community.
Spread the word about preprints
There are many ways to help awareness grow, but here are a few of the simplest.
Request some free stickers to show those around you how you use preprints.
Add this slide to your talks to introduce the concept of preprinting to your audience.
Find more talk slides and other resources by ASAPbio and community members.
The ASAPbio community is a group of researchers and others involved in research communication who interact and exchange information and feedback around the use of preprints.