The version of a manuscript you submit to a journal can be submitted as a “preprint” to a preprint server, a web portal that supports the submission and redistribution of preprints. Many preprint servers are domain-specific, but a number are also multidisciplinary. The most common preprint servers for the type of research done at The Neuro are:
The use of preprints in biomedical research has exploded in recent years. Many publishers now encourage submission to preprint servers and will accept the preprint server URL as the source for the submission to a journal’s submission pipeline. What’s more, submitting a preprint is simple and free of charge.
Using preprints comes along with many advantages. Submitting your manuscript to a preprint server allows for the immediate release of the manuscript (albeit in a non-peer-reviewed state), meaning you can establish priority to a discovery and share your manuscript immediately with others in your field. A preprint will have a DOI (Digital Object Identifier) which would allow anybody to reference your preprint in their own publications (or preprints), adding impact to your research. After your manuscript is accepted in a peer-reviewed journal, the preprint server will often refer to the newer, peer-reviewed and published article, ensuring that the readers of your preprint are redirected to the published version as well. As we detail below, it is always important to check if the journal you want to consider for your publication allows the use of a preprint server, most do, but as we will see below, some don’t.
- Once posted on a Preprint server you cannot remove a preprint. You can update it (with a newer version), but caution should be taken by submitters to ensure they are confident in what they are posting.
- Preprints do NOT fulfill most OA policies (although they are strongly encouraged at the Neuro). For example, the Tri-Agency OA policy requires peer-reviewed versions of manuscripts (e.g. section 3.1.a Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications - Science.gc.ca)
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