A pre-print is a version of a scholarly paper that is posted at a repository that precedes peer-review and final publication. A preprint is a draft that allows the pre-disclosure of the findings of the Research paper. Preprints achieve many of the goals of journal publishing, that too, within a much shorter time frame.
History of Pre-prints
- The popularity of pre-print services is many times credited to arXiv, which was created by Paul Ginsparg in 1991 at Los Alamos National Laboratory for distributing theoretical high-energy physics preprints.
- arXiv is now a well re-known organization in Academia and Scholarly Communications, as over 8,000 papers a month are posted there, as of 2016, according to their statistics.
- There is evidence that submissions to preprint servers such as arXiv.org attract citations earlier and have a higher cumulative number of citations.
- The open access has led to many other hard science repositories such as bioRxiv and many others. bioRix is a preprint repository for the biological sciences, co-founded by John Inglis and Richard Sever in November 2013
- Papers hosted on bioRxiv are not peer-reviewed, but undergo basic screening and checked against plagiarism.
- Readers may offer comments on the preprint.
- In 2016, SocArxiv debuted in the social science arena.
The differentiating features of Pre-prints are:
When you post a pre-print, you have a right to claim to the work as you are identified permanently in the Scholarly records. This is controlled/checked upon by an automatic Digital Object Identifier (DOI).
In the traditional system, only a few editors could review your task. But now multiple scientists can review your task and assess it, thus you get a reach for the better journal at the earliest.
- Visibility (and citation)
Posting Pre-print increases Citations and Altmetrics score as preprint providers Crossref link to the final published article so as to bring new readers to your published paper and you get more reach
- Date and time-stamped
As pre-prints are date and time stamped, hence there is a complete record of when the draft is received and processed by the pre-print publication.
- Showcase for grants
To be eligible for Education and Teaching grant, you have to show some proof. This would be official proof to avail of the grant.
- Links to published Articles:
Open Science Framework’s infrastructure allows unlimited disk space for uploading of publication-related data as data is stored online Cloud such as Dropbox, Google Drive, GitHub, Figshare and finally linked back to the related preprint.
- Open Access
How does Pre-print benefit Authors? How it is different from Peer-review?
How DOI might impact the citation count on pre-print?
- Preprints controlled upon by DOI (Digital Object Identifier) on submission. As pre-prints are not controlled by any time access, thus the posted pre-print paper persists even after an article is published in a Journal.
- Preprints can collect citations, which count towards H-Index/ Altmetrics count. The pre-prints direct the readers towards the full version of Research-paper as well.
Is it safe to Pre-print? Can someone steal my work from my preprint?
- Based on earlier experiences, there is no evidence of any such kind of stealing or plagiarism. The top publications like ArXiv, BioArXix, SocArXiv have defined various policies to restrict plagiarism or scooping.
- If someone is prepared to steal ideas from a time-stamped and DOI pre-print, they would likely do the same from material in a journal.
- The reputational damage associated with intellectual theft is significant and long-lasting, thus stealing is very rare.
How to take a decision whether to submit a pre-print or not?
You should consider pre-print only if:
- You want to publish large databases
- You are seeking peer-review from a community
- You want everyone to access your document
- You want quick publication of your document.
Preprints are a trending piece of scholarly communication in terms of increasing citations and peer-review. Pre-prints are highly recommendable due to many reasons like it improves the way research work is shared, including credit for your work, early feedback & increased visibility – and we hope you will definitely give it a try.