Publishing of preprints

In many cases, research articles can be published already before they are peer reviewed or accepted to any journal. Preprint publishing, that is, publishing articles that have not yet been peer-reviewed, is currently one of the most rapidly growing forms of open-access publishing. It has been lately facilitated by the increase of publication archives (preprint servers) specialised in this kind of publishing. 

The best-known of these is arXiv, which has served as an open-access archive particularly in the fields of mathematics and physics for over 25 years. Following its model, similar archives have been established in many different disciplines, for example, bioRxiv and ASAPbio for bio- and environmental sciences, psyArXiv for psychology, RePEc for economics, ChemRxiv for chemistry, and SocArXiv for social sciences. Also Zenodo  and FigShare publish preprints. 

Overseas publishers have already taken a very positive stand to preprint publishing: Several big publishers such as Elsevier, Springer, Wiley, SAGE and Taylor & Francis allow researchers to distribute their manuscript versions quite freely. Then again, smaller and domestic publishers may have different policies in this respect, which researchers should take into account before preprint publishing. 

The researchers of the University of Jyväskylä can also publish preprints in the JYX publication archive. If you already know where your preprint will eventually be published as a formally peer-reviewed article, you can get it indexed early in the university's research information system: simply send your preprint to Preprints for which you do not yet know the eventual fate, are not currently indexed by JYU research information system; according to the current policy of the Ministry of Education and Culture, manuscripts that have not been peer-reviewed cannot be counted as open-access publications at the reporting stage.

Why do researchers publish preprints?

  • It is a quick way to publicise one’s research. This is important to many researchers, especially in those fields where the publishing processes of scientific journals may take a long time.
  • The researcher receives authorship to the research, and the manuscript can be referred to even if the actual article is not yet published. 
  • The researchers can contribute to scientific discussion and receive feedback on their articles more broadly within their research community already before actual peer reviews.
  • Preprint publishing brings more visibility to the research.