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.org.
  • Any journals you intend to submit to accept preprints.
  • All authors understand the Preprints.org 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 are available.

Scope of Preprints.org

Subjects

Preprints.org is a multidiscipline platform providing preprint service that research in all areas are welcome, including Biology and Life Sciences, Business and Economics, Chemistry and Material Science, Computer Science and Mathematics, Engineering, Environmental and Earth Sciences, Medicine and Pharmacology, Physical Sciences, Public Health and Healthcare, and Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities.

MDPI Topics

MDPI Topics in Preprints.org is a service offered to authors who want to submit to an MDPI journal after posting their paper on Preprints.org. It means that authors who submit their papers to MDPI Topics via Preprints.org may be invited to contribute to a relevant journal of MDPI Topics.

Papers of users who select “MDPI Topics” while submitting their manuscript via the Preprints.org’s system are posted on Preprints.org. The users may benefit from the following:

    iThenticate Plagiarism Check: The plagiarism check generates a report that highlights any instances of text duplication and potential plagiarism, along with advice on where to modify the text or add further citations.

    Layout Editing: Layout editing prepares your submission for publication based on the MDPI journal template.

    Journal Recommendation: Our in-house editor will invite you to contribute to a relevant journal on MDPI Topics. Once you accept their invitation, the submission information of your article will be transmitted from Preprints.org to the submission system of MDPI journals, which reduces the time it takes for your submission to be processed.

Article Types

Preprints.org 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, or Hypothesis. Other article types may be accepted at the discretion of the editorial team. We typically do not permit editorials, discussion papers, or course work.

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.org and agree that all and only those that qualify for authorship must be included as authors. Those who contributed to the work but do not qualify for authorship should be listed in the acknowledgments. We recommend referring to the ICMJE recommendations about authorship and the Credit taxonomy.

Any change to the author list should be approved by all authors, including those who have been removed from the list. The corresponding author’s roles and responsibilities are as follows:

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

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

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 the 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.org 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).

Data and Supplementary Files

In order to maintain transparency and integrity, Preprints.org 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 follow FAIR data principles and 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.org can be added during submission.

Submission Process

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

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

Journal Policies

While most journals accept preprint submissions, some may not. We recommend checking all journals you will potentially submit to. A list of journal policies can be found in the Sherpa Romeo database. The best practice is to contact the journal directly if you have any concerns about their policy.

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

Publishing Ethics

Preprints.org adheres to the Committee on Publication Ethics(COPE) Code of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines. Note that COPE does not currently cover preprints specifically, but many of the same principles apply, 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 not permitted.
  • Posting of submitted materials must not be illegal.
  • 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.

Preprints.org 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.org applies the following 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.org.

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 the 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 must also be properly cited.
  • Graphs, charts, schemes, and artworks are completely redrawn by the authors and significantly changed beyond recognition.

Conflict of Interest

All authors must disclose all relationships or interests that could inappropriately influence or bias their work. Examples of potential conflicts of interest include but are not limited to financial interests (such as membership, employment, consultancies, stocks/shares ownership, honoraria, grants or other funding, paid expert testimonies, and patent-licensing arrangements) and non-financial interests (such as personal or professional relationships, affiliations, and personal beliefs).

Authors can disclose potential conflicts of interest via the online submission system during the submission process. Declarations regarding conflicts of interest can also be collected via the MDPI disclosure form. The corresponding author must include a summary statement in the manuscript in a separate section “Conflicts of Interest” placed just before the reference list. The statement should reflect all the collected potential conflict of interest disclosures in the form.

See below for examples of disclosures:
Conflicts of Interest: Author A has received research grants from Company A. Author B has received a speaker honorarium from Company X and owns stocks in Company Y. Author C has been involved as a consultant and expert witness in Company Z. Author D is the inventor of patent X.
If no conflicts exist, the authors should state:
Conflicts of Interest: The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Withdrawal Policy

It is important that all authors understand that preprints cannot be 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.org 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, and authors should check in advance whether the journal they intend to submit to accepts preprints.

Screening

Preprints.org does not conduct peer review for submitted manuscripts. Upon receiving a submission, there will be a screening process to ensure the content has not been published already; the content meets the basic publishing Ethics; authors follow international research ethics regulations; authors disclose potential conflicts of interest; no harmful, provocative, controversial, or pseudoscientific statement.

The screening process typically takes 24 hours by our trained editors. If there is any further information required, you will be contacted by an editor. Additionally, if you are interested in helping with screening work, click here to apply.

Update and Versions

Authors may want to update their online preprints when they have additional info to report, or received feedback/comments from others. Preprints.org encourages authors to submit updated versions of their works whenever they find necessary.

If a preprint is published in a journal afterward, we will link the journal version to the abstract page and PDF, making sure that readers have access to the latest version. Authors are also encouraged to link a peer-reviewed journal version actively under the “My Articles” tab in their profiles.

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.org 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.org and may appear on websites other than Preprints.org.
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