Sharing preprints speeds up research, encourages collaboration and can provide helpful early feedback on research

A preprint is a complete scientific manuscript (often one also being submitted to a peer-reviewed journal) that is uploaded by the authors to a preprint repository or service, typically without formal peer review of that version, such as would be undertaken by a publisher for a scholarly journal.

Benefits of Preprints

Preprint servers, such as arXiv, medRxiv and SocArXiv all allow researchers to share early drafts of their work with the research community before submission to a peer-reviewed journal. Sharing work in this manner has a number of benefits:

  • Encourages early feedback from your research community
  • Increases your readership
  • Rapidly disseminates results
  • Demonstrates when you had the original idea

Best Practice for Preprints

  • Don’t assume pre-prints fulfil your open access requirements​
  • Check your preferred publisher permits pre-prints​
  • As an editor work with your publisher to ensure your journal’s policies allow preprints
  • Be sure you’re ready for other people to read your paper
  • Clearly mark your preprint as ‘draft’ or ‘early pre-peer review version’
  • Consider whether to use a creative commons licence
  • Choose a preprint server appropriate to your discipline. ASAPbio's database of preprint servers may be a useful place to start
  • Once published, replace the preprint with the peer-reviewed Accepted Manuscript, and/or link to the final journal article​
  • If an article is retracted, the preprint versions should be too​

Preprints and Pure

Preprints do not need to be added to Pure. It is usually better to upload a record to Pure once an article has been accepted for publication.

If you want a preprint to appear on your Bristol Research Portal profile you can add it to Pure. In this case you should use the Working Paper - Preprint record type.

Where possible, please provide a link to the preprint on the preprint server, rather than uploading a copy of the file to the Pure record.

Once the paper is accepted for publication, you should contact the open access team and ask for the preprint to be replaced by a record for the published version.

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