We are currently surveying the landscape of preprint servers and platforms and are aware of 15 different products or services in use or in development for sharing preprints.
With over 1000 new corresponding authors now posting a preprint in the life sciences each month, the adoption of preprinting has been increasing rapidly. While the majority of the growth is currently driven by submissions to bioRxiv, which accepts preprints across the life and biomedical sciences, several preprint servers and platforms have launched in recent years to serve individual research areas and communities. Following developments in the landscape over the past two years, preprint server operators now have a range of products and services to choose between. Today, we share a listing of the preprint server products and services known to ASAPbio. We welcome feedback and information from product owners, service operators and preprint server owners to grow and improve this independent listing.
Preprint server products and services
|Product / Service||Product link||Owner / Developer||Status||Known users||Notes (unverified; see README)|
|Cambridge Open Engage||http://www.cambridge.org/engage||Cambridge University Press (CUP)||Operational||APSA Preprints (American Political Science Association; https://www.cambridge.org/core/services/authors/apsa-preprints)||Launched 2019 with APSA as first partner; general platform due to open to all disciplines excluding medical and clinical sciences (http://www.cambridge.org/engage/contact-information?show=faqs)|
|Commons in a Box||https://commonsinabox.org/||City University of New York (CUNY)||Operational||CUNY Academic Commons (https://commons.gc.cuny.edu/); Humanities Commons (https://hcommons.org)||Funded by Sloan, free and open source software (FOSS) built on Wordpress, not only for preprints; note not sure if they mint DOIs, seems more like a blogging & group communications site|
|EasyChair Preprints||https://easychair.org/publications/preprints||EasyChair||Operational||Unknown||Conference organisation platform (e.g. for receiving and reviewing abstracts); preprint posting launched in October 2017|
|E-Prints (repository software)||https://www.eprints.org/uk/index.php/eprints-software/||School of Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southampton||Operational||CogPrints (http://cogprints.org/; no longer active); e-LIS (http://eprints.rclis.org/); PhilSci Archive (http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/); White Rose Consortium (https://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/)||Available open source for self-hosting or can provide bespoke hosted service (https://www.eprints.org/uk/index.php/services/)|
|Figshare||No product link found||Figshare||Operational||ChemRXiv (https://chemrxiv.org/); SAGEpub Advance (https://advance.sagepub.com/)||Proprietary platform provided as service, features described in https://figshare.com/blog/SAGE_Publishing_launches_Advance_a_social_sciences_preprints_service_in_partnership_with_Figshare/419|
|HighWire Preprint||https://www.highwirepress.com/solutions/highwire-submissions/preprint/||Highwire||Operational||bioRxiv (https://www.biorxiv.org/); medRxiv (pending -- http://yoda.yale.edu/medrxiv)||medRxiv still pending as first user after bioRxiv; interoperable with Highwire BenchPress|
|Invenio (repository)||https://inveniosoftware.org/||CERN||Operational||Zenodo (https://zenodo.org/) & Zenodo communities (https://zenodo.org/communities/ including CERN; OpenAire)||Open source large-scale repository infrastructure. Not designed specifically for preprints, does not include features such as linked submission to journal or link to published version. Community channels available, listed at https://zenodo.org/communities/, via which community moderators can curate content, export via OAI-PMH and invite directly via custom submission link.|
|Literatum||https://www.atypon.com/products/literatum/||Wiley / Atypon||Operational||ESSOAr (https://www.essoar.org/); OARR (pending -- https://www.americananthro.org/StayInformed/Content.aspx?ItemNumber=24311)||How ESSOAr was set up: https://news.agu.org/press-release/earth-and-space-science-open-preprint-server-to-be-powered-by-agu-and-atypon/|
|MediaWiki||https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/MediaWiki||Wikimedia||Operational||MitoFit Archives (https://wiki.oroboros.at/index.php/MitoFit_Preprint_Arch)||MediaWiki is free and open source (FOSS) software with many uses cases (not limited to preprints)|
|Open Research platform||https://openresearchcentral.org/about||F1000 Research Ltd||Operational||F1000Research and several funders and communities including: Wellcome Trust; Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Montreal Neurological Institute; full list at https://openresearchcentral.org/||Preprints can only be published in the linked Open Research journal; involves fully open peer review process|
|OSF Preprints||https://osf.io/preprints/||Center for Open Science (COS)||Operational||Several communities; listed at https://osf.io/preprints/||Currently free (grant-funded); open source software provided as service (https://github.com/CenterForOpenScience/ember-osf-preprints)|
|Research Square||https://www.researchsquare.com/company/publishers/pre-publication-platform||ResearchSquare||Operational||In Review (all BMC journals now linked and some SpringerNature titles), see https://www.springernature.com/gp/authors/campaigns/in-review||For papers in review at linked journal, provides author dashboard with full review history and activity. If accepted, final version and reviews are posted at journal; if rejected, preprint stays online but without journal branding and listed independently.|
|SSRN First Look||https://ssrnsolutions.com/first-look/||SSRN (Elsevier)||Operational||Used for working paper series and 'First Look' or 'Sneak Peek' for some journals (including The Lancet; Cell Press; NeuroImage) listed at https://www.ssrn.com||Used for journals to display papers under review as preprints. For some First Look services, readers are required to register before able to read and download. TBC: unknown whether preprints remain accessible if rejected after review.|
|Product name unknown||https://pkp.sfu.ca/||Public Knowledge Project (PKP) / Open Journal Systems (OJS)||In development||SciELO Preprints (http://preprints.scielo.org/documents)||PKP software is free and open source (FOSS) and PKP offer hosted solutions and plans. Announcement of plan to develop preprint server for SciELO: https://blog.scielo.org/en/2018/09/21/pkp-and-scielo-announce-development-of-open-source-preprint-server-system/#.XGFi8s_7Q6U; with stated intention for Preprint Platform to be interoperable with OJS|
|Product name unknown||No product link found||JMIR Publications||Operational||JMIR Preprints (https://preprints.jmir.org/)||Proprietary; not available for others?|
|Product name unknown||No product link found||MDPI||Operational||Preprints (preprints.org)||Proprietary; not available for others?|
|Product name unknown||No product link found||PeerJ||No longer accepting submissions, still functional for existing preprints||PeerJ Preprints (https://peerj.com/preprints-search/)||Proprietary; not available for others? No longer accepting submissions to Preprints (as of September 30, 2019); PeerJ Journals remain operational|
|Product name unknown||No product link found||arXiv / Cornell University||Operational||arXiv (https://arxiv.org/)||Proprietary; not available for others? (A simple interface on a server)|
|Product / Service||Product link||Owner / Developer||Status||Known users||Notes (unverified; see README)|
The available products and services include several open-source options with paid or free services and/or as free software. For example, the Center for Open Science now lists 22 individual preprint servers powered by the open-source OSF Preprints platform, including EcoEvorXiv (ecology, evolution and conservation), FocUS Archive (focused ultrasound research), MarXiv (ocean and marine-climate sciences) and NutriXiv (nutritional sciences); the Public Knowledge Project is developing an open-source preprints platform for SciELO interoperable with Open Journal Systems software; and the University of Southampton’s open-source repository software, ePrints, is used by PhilSci Archive for sharing preprints in the philosophy of science.
Publishers and scholarly infrastructure providers have also developed proprietary preprint products used to operate services for funders, scientific societies and journals. In August 2017, the American Chemical Society (ACS), Royal Society of Chemistry, German Chemical Society and Figshare announced a partnership to launch ChemRxiv, a preprint server for the chemical sciences and the first to use Figshare for sharing preprints. This was followed in August 2018 by Advance, a new social sciences preprints service by SAGE publishing and Figshare. The American Geophysical Union (AGU) run the Earth and Space Science Open Archive (ESSOAr) for preprints in the earth and space sciences using a platform developed by Atypon and supported by Wiley (who own Atypon) and the American Anthropological Association are due to follow shortly with the Atypon-provided Open Anthropology Research Repository (OARR). Several funders and institutions have now launched a linked preprint-and-publication venue using F1000 Research Ltd’s Open Research platform, while some publishers are using ResearchSquare’s pre-publication platform or SSRN’s First Look (SSRN is owned by Elsevier) to provide pre-peer review access to manuscripts under review at their journals, including four BMC journals, Cell, The Lancet and NeuroImage.
For the full list of products and services we are currently aware of, please visit our spreadsheet at https://bit.ly/preprintproducts. Please note the information in this sheet has not been verified with product owners or service operators and we recommend approaching them directly for the latest information. Have you spotted an error? Please comment on this sheet to let us know.
Are you a product owner or service operator? Let us know about your product by commenting on the spreadsheet or by email to naomi [dot] penfold [at] asapbio [dot] org.
Are you a preprint server operator or owner? (Are we missing you in this listing? Let us know!) We are also investigating properties and features of preprint servers and platforms. Help us by sharing your requirements for your preprint server or platform: annotate this article publicly or reach out to Naomi directly.
With thanks to Jamie Kirkham, University of Liverpool, Amy Riegelman, University of Minnesota, and Martyn Rittman, MDPI, for contributing resources and information that seeded this listing, including Martyn’s public spreadsheet of preprint servers.