Preprint Volunteers

What do volunteers do?

Each preprint undergoes a basic check before it is put online to ensure that it meets certain minimum criteria. Preprint volunteers assist the preprints editorial team to make this assessment.

This is not the same as peer review, the screening takes only a few minutes and checks some basic aspects of the paper. We don’t expect detailed feedback of the content, only some background checks and a verification that it has the potential to contribute to knowledge in your field.

Why should I sign up as a volunteer?

There are so many reasons! You can make a contribution to the fastest way to widely report research results, saving months over traditional peer review. You can support your field, in particular by helping other authors. We will give you credit for your contribution and you can put it on your CV. You get to read the latest interesting research in your field before anyone else. When you submit a preprint, who do you expect to screen it? Think of it as a reciprocal arrangement. You can network with other volunteers and editors, and find out about the interesting work they are doing. You can get an insight into the publishing process and what it takes to maintain a preprint server. We will ask your opinion about new features and changes to

How to sign up as a volunteer?

Volunteers can sign up after logging in and going to the volunteer tab. You need to fill in some information about yourself and we will make an assessment about your suitability.

To qualify as a volunteer, you should be an active researcher in your field with a track record of published and cited journal articles. The final decision as to who can act as a volunteer rests with staff.

How to assess a manuscript?

Once approved, you can go to the volunteer tab at and see new preprints in your field. All preprints should be assessed within 24 hours of submission, so if you are interested in checking an article we recommend that you do it as soon as you see it, otherwise a decision might be made without your input.

Once you have signed up, we will send you further guidance about how to assess preprints. In short, you will be asked to complete a checklist about the manuscript, provide feedback in a text box and make an overall recommendation as to whether the preprint could be posted. Checks typically take about 10 minutes per article.