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, and in job and grant applications.

Additional benefits from Preprints include:

  • Link to ORCID
  • Altmetrics, view and download data on every abstract page
  • A link to the journal article if your paper is published
  • A digital object identifier (DOI) issued by Crossref to make your preprint permanently citable

Quick Submission Checklist

Check the following before you submit:

  • Have you confirmed submission with all co-authors?
  • Your paper has not already been published in a peer-reviewed journal.
  • At least one author use an email address issued by an institution (university or similar)?
  • Your article contains the title, abstract, keywords, author names and affiliations?
  • All relevant copyright permissions have been obtained.
  • Experiments with animals, humans or plants comply with accepted ethical standards and were approved by an ethics committee where relevant.
  • Any journals you intend to submit to accept preprints.
Requirements for Preprints

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.

The first page should include the authors’ names and affiliations, an abstract and keywords. Use institutional email addresses (e.g. provided by a university) where possible. Preprints must include a comprehensive bibliography showing link to recent research and, if reporting original research, have the structure of a research article (introduction, methods, results and discussion).

How to Submit

Click the “Submit preprint” button on the upper right corner of the website to submit your manuscript. Before doing so, please ensure that:

  1. The work was carried out by the authors and does not infringe any copyright(s).
  2. Submissions to Preprints should not have been published in, or have been accepted for publication by, a peer-reviewed journal before. However, posting a preprint on Preprints will not hinder publication of the article in a peer-reviewed journal at a later point.
  3. All authors are familiar with the content of the paper and have approved submission.
  4. All relevant data has also been submitted for others to replicate your study. Please see our data preparation guidelines for more details.
  5. Your manuscript should include full author information, and details of funding or grant information and, where relevant, a conflict of interest statement.
  6. All authors understand Preprints’ policies and process.
  7. When submitting an improved version of an existing preprint, please use the "Submit follow-up version" function in "My Articles" dashboard. Please note that each new version should contain significant improvements from its previous version.

Preprint General Formatting Guidelines

If you use your own format, the first page of your manuscript must contain: title, author list, abstract, keywords, corresponding author contact details, and affiliations for all authors.

To ensure readability and clarity, we recommend the following:

  1. Provide a graphical abstract to display on the website alongside the textual abstract. The graphic should be provided as a JPG, PNG or GIF file.
  2. We encourage supplementary materials and original research data to be made openly available either by depositing into data repositories or by publishing the data and files as “Supplementary Materials”. Large datasets and files should be deposited in specialized data repositories. Small datasets up to 50 MB, including spreadsheets, images, video sequences, conference slides, and software source code, can be uploaded as “Supplementary Files” during the manuscript submission process. To ensure future accessibility, we recommend that authors avoid proprietary formats.
  3. Your manuscript should not contain any information relating to journals to which an article was formerly submitted, e.g., the journal name or logo.

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. Any update to your submission will prevent it from being automatically removed and reset the expiration period.

Pending approval: Your submission is undergoing the internal editorial check. This will take less than 24 hours. Most cases do not require further input from the submitter and will be dealt with in due course.

Online: Your submission has passed the editorial check and is now online, and open for public peer-review. You can submit a follow-up version of an already online article by clicking "Submit follow-up version". The follow-up article will be "v2" of the original article.

Withdrawn: Your withdrawn submissions.

Rejected: Submissions that were rejected by Preprints editorial office.

Link Your ORCID iD with Your Preprints Account

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

Corresponding Author’s Roles and Responsibilities

  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, copyright, licenses).
  4. Take full responsibility for answering questions/comments regarding the announced preprint, as well as providing data or materials requested. Preprints shall not be held responsible for interactions between authors and audiences.

Copyright and Licenses

Authors are asked to 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.

Preprints does not accept content created by a third party that has not authorized distribution. This means that copyright violation and plagiarism are not acceptable. If part of your paper has been published elsewhere and you want to post it on Preprints, you must obtain permissions from for any materials that you do not hold copyright to, and include the permission in your submission.

Authors should be aware that uploaded articles cannot be published in a journal that prohibits prior distribution on an e-print server. Authors should visit the Sherpa database before uploading to Preprints, and check the preprint acceptance policy by journal or by publisher. Note: only "Green" or "Yellow" journals/publishers in the Sherpa database allow authors to archive preprints in advance of publication.

Ethical Policies

Authors wishing to announce their articles in Preprints are asked to abide by the following rules:

  • 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.
  • Authors should accurately present their research findings and include an objective discussion of the significance of their findings.
  • Data and methods used in the research need to be presented in sufficient detail in the article, so that other researchers can replicate the work.
  • Raw data should preferably be publicly deposited by the authors before submission of their manuscript.
  • Authors need to at least have the raw data readily available for presentation to the referees and the editors, if requested.
  • Authors need to ensure appropriate measures are taken so that raw data is retained in full for a reasonable time after publication.
  • Plagiarism, data fabrication and image manipulation, knowingly providing incorrect information, copyright infringement, inaccurate author attributions, attempts to inappropriately manipulate the peer review process, failures to declare conflicts of interest, fraud, and libel are not tolerated.
  • Preprints will rigorously enforce its standard, and will follow up on cases of infringement. For extreme cases we may call on individuals to be reported to their institutions. Any complaints should be directed to
  • All submitted materials should be legal.

Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE)

Preprints is maintained and operated by MDPI, a publisher of open access journals. MDPI and Preprints adhere to the COPE Code of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines. Manuscripts containing original descriptions of research conducted on humans or experimental animals must contain details of approval from a properly constituted research ethics committee. As 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.

Supplementary Materials, Data Deposit and Software Source Code

In order to maintain the integrity, transparency and reproducibility of research records, authors are strongly encouraged to make their experimental and research data openly available by depositing data in Preprints along with the manuscript. For papers in which new computer code (e.g., analytical bioinformatics tools or computer simulations) is of central importance, the authors are encouraged to release custom computer code either by depositing in public source code repositories or by announcing the source code as supplementary material to the paper. Additional data and files can be uploaded as "Supplementary Files" during the manuscript submission process. Accepted file formats include (but are not limited to):

  • data tables and spreadsheets (text files, MS Excel, OpenOffice, CSV, XML, etc.)
  • text documents (text files, PDF, MS Word, OpenOffice, etc.)
  • images (JPEG, PNG, GIF, TIFF, BMP, etc.)
  • videos (AVI, MPG, QuickTime, etc.)
  • executables (EXE, Java, etc.)

Citations and references in supplementary files are permitted provided that they also appear in the main text and in the reference list. The journal Data (ISSN 2306-5729) also accepts submissions of dataset papers, and the publication of small data sets along with the paper, and/or software source codes is encouraged.

Withdrawal of 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

This list is not intended to be comprehensive and we reserve the right to remove preprints without notice. 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 the intend to submit to accepts preprints.

Reproducing Published Material from Other Publishers

It is absolutely essential that authors obtain permission to reproduce any published material (figures, schemes, tables or any extract of a text), which 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 (please refer to the imprint of the individual publications to identify the copyright holder).

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 only slightly modified.
  • 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...".
  • Reasonably short quotes are considered fair use and therefore do not require permission.
  • Graphs, charts, schemes and artworks that are completely redrawn by the authors and significantly changed beyond recognition do not require permission.


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