Preprints: Accelerating Research

4. How Do I Submit a Preprint?

Selecting a Preprint Repository

In selecting a preprint repository, consider your intent to publish the article. Most journals accept preprint submissions, but some do not. Review the policies of the journals where you might submit your work. Check the journal website and Sherpa Romeo. Some journals have ties to specific preprint servers. For example, see medRxiv’s M2J direct transfer program.

Also, consider your intellectual property rights in posting a preprint. Some preprint repositories require the author to grant perpetual licenses to distribute your article.

You can post preprints using an open access Creative Commons CC BY 4.0 license. This means that the work can be freely downloaded, distributed and reused, provided that the author and preprint are cited in any reuse. This type of license allows maximum availability of your work while recognizing your authorship. For more information about your licensing options, read ASAPbio’s "Make your preprint open with purpose".

bioRxiV Preprint Copyright Screenshot of copyright saying the copyright holder for this preprint is the author/funder, who has granted bioRxiv a license to display the preprint in perpetuity. It is made available under a CC-BY 4.0 International license.

There is currently no standardized system of connecting a preprint to the published version. Some publishers allow you to submit your paper to a journal directly from preprint servers, as in the medRxiv M2J program mentioned earlier. In these cases, the connection between the versions is made by the publisher. The National Library of Medicine regularly checks a variety of sources (e.g., CrossRef, bioRxiv, arXiv, Europe PMC and others) to make the links between preprints and published articles in PubMed and PubMed Central. But otherwise, it is up to the author to establish the connection between a preprint and a publication.

Example DOI for Preprint in PubMed Central Screenshot from bioRxiv database showing DOI and preprint banner on article