While the practice of preprinting in the life sciences is not completely new, it has grown dramatically over the past few years.

PrePubMed monthly stats

Jordan Anaya, the creator of the preprint search engine, PrePubMed, releases monthly statistics for preprints indexed by his tool.  In addition to the aggregate chart shown below (for June 2018), Jordan also presents new senior authors added per month and a real-time analytics tool that creates graphs for preprints posted in any subject area of a search term of your choice. Try it now.

Jordan Anaya, prepubmed.org

Preprinting as a proportion of the biomedical literature

Explore the chart here.

This chart presents an approximate proportion of preprints in biology when compared to publications in PubMed, based on monthly PubMed publication count and preprint submissions (or counts) across a selection of servers relevant to biology. As of June 2019, preprints in biology represent approximately 2.4% of biomedical publications.

A live version of these data and the chart are available from this GSheet: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1bkGEcfQcL0LpIanVqNHci1ZFY6oVNGz7IQbEugzkqkU/edit?usp=sharing. Version 1.0 of these data and chart have been archived on Zenodo (DOI:10.5281/zenodo.3256298), sharing data from January 2007 until May 31, 2019 for preprint servers: arXiv q-bio, Nature Precedings, F1000Research*, PeerJ Preprints*, bioRxiv**, Winnower*, preprints.org, Wellcome Open Research*. *Counts may not be specific to biology preprints only; **counts may include all versions posted that month, so may be an overestimate for version 1 submissions. When presenting this chart, please attribute to ASAPbio (https://asapbio.org, twitter: @ASAPbio_).

From January 2019, we’ve manually gathered the data as indicated in the ‘Methods’ GSheet tab (or ‘Methods.csv’ on Zenodo). Until December 2018, monthly preprint submissions data are based on those contributed by Jordan Anaya for PrePubMed, source: https://raw.githubusercontent.com/OmnesRes/prepub/master/analyses/preprint_data.txt; Github repository: https://github.com/OmnesRes/prepub; website: http://www.prepubmed.org).

European Commission visualization

The European Commission’s Open Science Monitor features a beautiful visualization of the temporal and geographical distribution of preprints in different fields. While this tool includes fewer sources than PrePubMed, it highlights the inchoate nature of preprints in the life sciences compared to other subjects. To view the tool, click the link under “Preprints” here.

Screenshot as of March 22, 2017

(via John Inglis)