Preprints: Accelerating Research

3. Should I Use a Preprint?

Benefits of Using Preprints


Whether reading or citing preprints or publishing your own, there are several benefits to including preprints as part of your research.

As a preprint user, benefits include:

  1. Accessing timely research in emergency response.
  2. Actively participating in open science practices.
  3. Advocating for high quality, rapid retrieval of information.
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As an example, consider the COVID-19 pandemic. It was critical for research around virus identification, prevention, testing and vaccination to be quickly shared in order to stop the spread and save lives.2


As a preprint creator, benefits include:

  1. Increasing visibility and reach of your research.
  2. Directly contributing to body of open science scholarship.
  3. Encouraging critical engagement with your research from peers.
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In 2019, ASAPbio (or Accelerating Science and Publication in Biology) asserted that the free preprint server bioRxiv had more than 4 million abstract views per month with 1.5 million downloads per month.3


2. Fleerackers, A., Riedlinger, M., Moorhead, L., Ahmed, R., & Alperin, J. P. (2021). Communicating Scientific Uncertainty in an Age of COVID-19: An Investigation into the Use of Preprints by Digital Media Outlets. Health Communication, 1–13. https://doi.org/10.1080/10410236.2020.1864892 .

3. Preprints increase the visibility of your work! ASAPbio. (n.d.). https://asapbio.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/ASAPbio-preprints-visibility-english.pdf .