Preprints are early versions of research papers that are shared online before they have been peer reviewed or published in a journal. In the world of Open Science, preprints play a crucial role in facilitating the dissemination of research findings and enabling researchers to receive feedback on their work.
One of the key advantages of preprints is that they allow researchers to share their findings quickly and easily. In the past, the traditional peer review and publishing process could take several months or even years, which meant that important research findings were often not made available to the public until long after they were initially discovered. By contrast, preprints can be shared almost immediately after they are written, which means that other researchers can access and build upon them more quickly.
Preprints also help to level the playing field in the world of research. In the traditional publishing model, only researchers at well-funded institutions or those with established reputations are likely to have their work accepted for publication in top-tier journals. This can create a bias in the research literature, with the findings of well-known researchers being given more weight than those of less well-known researchers. Preprints, on the other hand, are open to anyone, which means that researchers from all backgrounds and institutions have the opportunity to share their work and have it reviewed by their peers. This can also help to reduce the duplication of effort in research by enabling researchers to see what other researchers in their field are working on.
Moreover, preprints have the potential to improve the quality of research by enabling researchers to receive feedback on their work early on. In the traditional publishing model, researchers often have to wait until their paper has been accepted for publication before they receive any feedback on it. By contrast, preprints can be shared and commented on by other researchers as soon as they are posted, which means that researchers can receive valuable feedback and suggestions for improvement before they submit their paper for peer review. This can help to ensure that the research is of the highest possible quality before it is published.
- Sharing Preprints (course on the practice of sharing preprints, provided by FOSTER)
- What is a preprint? (blog post on preprints in the PsyArXiv FAQs)
- Preprint policies per journal (Wikipedia page)
- Creative Commons Licenses (suitable licenses for preprints)
- Creative Commons Licenses (English guide focussed on researchers in the Netherlands)
- Preprint Repositories (overview of preprint services created by Joseph McArthur)