OA Week – Preprint Servers Everywhere

Posted On: October 26, 2017

In the last few years there’s been an explosion of preprint servers. Even the original preprint server for physics, math, and computer science, arXiv, recently announced new collections for economics and electrical engineering and systems science. Preprints are publications that have not undergone peer review, and are publicly available even if the peer-reviewed versions are behind publisher paywalls down the road.

  • What are some of the potential advantages and concerns that researchers have about posting their article preprints?
  • What preprint servers are available for my discipline?
  • Will [Journal] accept article submissions that were posted to a preprint server?

 

More below the jump

What are some of the potential advantages and concerns about preprints?

  • Ten simple rules to consider regarding preprint submission, from UC San Diego emeritus professor Philip Bourne, lays out compelling reasons for posting preprints, while addressing some of the principal concerns.
  • Assumptions of the preprints model, from University of New England ecologist Manu Sanders also identifies important considerations that early career researchers should take into account, which also highlights that researchers in different disciplines and at different stages of their careers may weigh the advantages and disadvantages differently.

 

What preprint servers are available for my discipline?

 

Here’s a current list of preprint servers, with more in the planning stages (Heavyweight funders back central site for life-sciences preprints).

 

Will [Journal] accept article submissions that were posted to a preprint server?

The answer, of course, is “it depends.” Many publishers will consider papers that have been posted on a preprint server. Even American Chemical Society, which in previous years required authors to get written permission from the editor, has shifted to a friendlier stance on preprints since they launched a chemistry preprint server this summer. At least for most of the journals.

Wikipedia has a list of preprint policies by publishers and journals, and you can also search the SHERPA/Romeo database for policies on preprint and postprint policies. But there’s always the chance that the information is not current, so when in doubt consult the journal website or contact the editor.

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