Instructions for Authors

Benefits to Authors

Preprints authors benefit from making their latest research available and citable to others working in their field. Here are just a few reasons to preprint:

  • Ensure that your research is visible as early as possible.
  • Get feedback on your work via comments from peers.
  • Avoid having to wait weeks or months for peer review before your work is publicly available.
  • Make your early results citable, to include on your resume or in grant applications.

See our about page for additional benefits of Preprints.

Quick Submission Checklist

The following are the most important checks before posting a preprint. Further details are available below:

  • Co-authors are aware of and agree to open access posting on Preprints.
  • Any journals you intend to submit to accept preprints.
  • All authors understand the Preprints withdrawal policy and that preprints cannot be completely removed once online.
  • Experiments with animals, humans or plants are properly reported and received ethical approval.
  • Any necessary copyright permissions have been obtained.
  • Research data is available.

Background Requirements
Article Types

Preprints publishes articles from all fields of research that report scientifically sound original research or present a comprehensive review of a field. The following types of articles are generally suitable: Article, Review, Conference Paper, Data Descriptor, Essay, Brief Report, Case Report, Communication, Short Note, Technical Note, Hypothesis. Other article types may be accepted at the discretion of the editorial team. We typically do not permit editorials, discussion papers or coursework.

Preprints must not have appeared in a peer-reviewed venue, such as a journal or conference proceedings. We recommend against posting the same paper to multiple preprint servers.

Authorship

All authors must be fully aware of the submission to Preprints and agree. All and only those that qualify for authorship must be included as authors. We recommend referring to the ICMJE recommendations about authorship and the Credit taxonomy.

ORCIDs are standard, persistent identifiers for authors. We encourage all authors to link their ORCID with their Preprints account during the submission process.

Future Uses of Your Article

While most journals accept preprint submissions, some may not. We recommend checking all journals you will potentially submit to. The best places to check are the journal website and the Sherpa Romeo database.

If you intend to register a patent based on the work, do not post a preprint as it will compromise your application.

To preserve the integrity of citations, preprints are only removed in exceptional circumstances. See our withdrawal conditions below.

Publishing Ethics

Preprints adheres to the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) Code of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines. This means that preprints must follow the same ethical principles as journal for publishing, including the following:

  • Authors must accurately present their research findings and include an objective discussion of the significance of their findings.
  • Plagiarism, data fabrication and image manipulation, knowingly providing incorrect information, copyright infringement, inaccurate author attributions, attempts to inappropriately manipulate the screening process, failures to declare conflicts of interest, fraud, and libel are permitted.
  • Manuscripts containing research conducted on humans or experimental animals must follow the Declaration of Helsinki and contain details of approval from a research ethics committee. At a minimum, the project identification code, date of approval and name of the ethics committee or institutional review board should be cited in the "Methods" section.
  • Informed consent of research participants must be obtained where necessary and authors must be able to provide a (redacted) copy of the consent form.
  • Any facts that might be perceived as a possible conflict of interest of the author(s) must be disclosed in the paper prior to submission.
  • Posting of submitted materials must not be illegal.

Preprints will rigorously enforce its standards and will follow up on cases of infringement. In extreme cases we may call on individuals to be reported to their institutions. Any complaints should be directed to info@preprints.org.

Preprints applies the ICMJE definition of a conflict of interest: “A conflict of interest exists when professional judgment concerning a primary interest (such as patients’ welfare or the validity of research) may be influenced by a secondary interest (such as financial gain). Perceptions of conflict of interest are as important as actual conflicts of interest.”

Reproducing Published Material from Other Publishers

It is essential that authors obtain permission to reproduce any published material (figures, schemes, tables or any extract of a text) that does not fall into the public domain or for which they do not hold the copyright. The authors must request permission from the copyright holder prior to posting to Preprints.

Permission is required for:

  • Your own works published by other publishers and for which you did not retain copyright.
  • Substantial extracts from anyone's works.
  • Use of tables, graphs, charts, schemes and artworks, if they are unaltered or with minor changes.
  • Photographs for which you do not hold copyright.

Permission is not required for:

  • Reconstruction of your own table with data already published elsewhere. Please notice that in this case you must cite the source of the data in the form of either "Data from..." or "Adapted from...".
  • Short quotes that are considered fair use and therefore do not require permission; these must also be properly cited.
  • Graphs, charts, schemes and artworks that are completely redrawn by the authors and significantly changed beyond recognition.

Open Access

All preprints are posted 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 allows the maximum visibility for the work, while recognizing authors.

All authors must agree to the following:

  • I grant Preprints a perpetual, non-exclusive license to distribute this article.
  • I certify that I have the right to grant this license.
  • I understand that submissions cannot be completely removed once accepted by Preprints and may appear on websites other than Preprints.

Manuscript Withdrawal

It is important that all authors understand that preprints cannot be completely removed once posted. Once a digital object identifier (DOI) is registered, information about the preprint is permanently available. In addition, a number of databases collect information about posted preprints.

Articles may be edited or deleted up until the time that they are submitted and announced. From that time on, articles will only be removed at the discretion of Preprints editors and the advisory board and for the following reasons:

  • Misconduct by authors, including plagiarism and data fabrication.
  • Serious scientific errors that cannot be corrected by updating the paper.
  • Where leaving a paper online would constitute an illegal act, including copyright violation.

Preprints reserve the right to remove preprints without notice where there is sufficient reason for doing so.

Note that preprints can be updated by authors at any point and we do not consider rejection from a journal sufficient grounds for removal. Preprints will not be removed to allow journal submission, authors should check in advance whether the journal they intend to submit to accepts preprints.

How to Prepare My Article
Formatting Guidelines

Any style is allowed for submitted papers, however all publisher and journal logos and names should be removed. The first page of your manuscript must contain: title, author list, abstract, keywords, corresponding author contact details, and affiliations for all authors.

In order to facilitate author identification, authors should use institutional email addresses (e.g. provided by a university) where possible, or email addresses used in previously published papers. We recommend the use of ORCID identifiers.

Files should be submitted in Microsoft Word or LaTeX format. For LaTeX files, ensure that all files necessary to recreate the PDF are included in a zip or similar archive.

To ensure readability and clarity, we recommend producing a graphical abstract to display on the website alongside the textual abstract. The graphic should be provided as a JPG, PNG or GIF file.

Preprints must include a comprehensive bibliography showing link to recent research and, if reporting original experimental research, have the structure of a research article (introduction, methods, results and discussion).

How to Submit

Once you have carefully checked the criteria above, click the “Submit preprint” button on the upper right corner of the website to submit your manuscript. You will need to have a Preprints account and log in to submit.

Authors submitting to MDPI journals have the option to submit to Preprints during journal submission.

Corresponding Authors

The corresponding author’s roles and responsibilities are as follows:

  1. Inform all co-authors of the submission to Preprints (note: each co-author will receive a confirmation email upon submission).
  2. Manage correspondence between Preprints and co-authors, keeping the full co-author group informed throughout the submission, announcement, and update process.
  3. Ensure that all co-authors understand Preprints' policies (including such items as publication ethics, data and supplementary material deposition, conditions for withdrawal, copyright, licenses).
  4. Take full responsibility for answering questions/comments regarding the announced preprint, as well as providing data or materials requested.

Data and Supplementary Files

In order to maintain transparency and integrity, Preprints requires that authors make all data associated with their submission available where there are no legal or confidentiality constraints in doing so. We encourage authors to upload data to a recognized data repository before posting a preprint, such as one from Re3data. Authors can also upload supplementary materials in any format along with their preprint (up to 50 MB per file).

Links to data hosted externally to Preprints can be added during submission.

After Submission

Once you have submitted your preprint, there will be a screening process that typically takes 24 hours (one working day). If any further information is required, you will be contacted by an editor.

If you are interested in helping to screen preprints, see here.

Track My Submission

You can manage all of your articles in your user profile dashboard. There are five submission statuses: Incomplete, Pending Approval, Online, Withdrawn and Rejected.

    Incomplete: Your submission is in process when it is in this status, but not yet submitted. It may still be edited up until the submission. At this point the preprint will not be publicly available. Submissions left incomplete for 14 consecutive days will be deleted from Preprints.

    Pending approval: Your submission is undergoing the internal editorial check. In most cases, this will take less than 24 hours and no action is required from the authors.

    Online: Your submission has passed the editorial check, is now online, and is open for public peer review.

    Withdrawn: Your withdrawn submissions.

    Rejected: Submissions that were rejected by Preprints editorial office.

Receive Feedback and Update

A feature of preprints is that they can be updated by authors at any time. We recommend that you inform colleagues and others working on similar topics about your preprint. If they provide feedback and you would like to update your preprint, go to your online preprints and click ‘Submit follow-up version’.

Contact

For inquiries regarding submission, announced papers, legal issues, the advisory board, or any inquiry regarding the general operation of Preprints, please contact info@preprints.org.