There are other ways of spreading research results than publishing an article in a journal, for example by publishing in preprint archives. One reason for doing so is to get a faster dissemination of your research results. Please note that you must first find out if this is allowed by the journal that you want to publish in.
To publish in a preprint archive means that you publish a version of your manuscript before the peer review process. The main reasons for doing so is that researchers want a faster dissemination of their research results, that the research becomes more visible and reaches a wider audience and that there is a good opportunity to get feedback from other researchers before the work is published in a journal. Preprint archives were invented for exactly those reasons, and they are available in a wide array of research areas. Examples of open and non-commercial archives are:
- bioRXiv : preprint archive in biology
- arXiv : preprint archive that cover many different subject fields
- medRxiv : preprint archive in health sciences
- psyArXiv : preprint archive for psychological sciences
Things to notice
- Check that the journal that you want to submit to accepts manuscripts that are already available as preprints: most journals see no problem with this but there are exceptions. The best way to find out how a journal regards preprints is through the journals own web site. Sometimes the journal points to a policy from the publisher.
- Some journals demand that a preprint can only be published in a non-commercial archive (like those mentioned above or in an institutional repository). Or they may demand a certain CC-BY-license: check the journal’s web site for information about the terms.
- Make sure to get a time stamp and a DOI on your preprint: to publish a preprint can be a way of being first with an idea or a result. With a clear time stamp in the preprint archive it will be evident when your research results were first published. A unique identifier, a DOI, makes your preprint easier to find and refer to as a legitimate publication.
- Make sure to let the journal know that a version of your manuscript is already available as a preprint: many journals or publishers consider this important information to have in the publishing process.
- Make sure that there is a link to the final published journal article from your preprint once the article is published: many journals demand that such a link is added to the preprint when the article is published. This also help readers understand how the different versions of your work are connected.
Advice regarding communication about preprint articles
On the staff portal, KI's press office has compiled valuable tips and advice on how you as a researcher at KI can communicate regarding preprint articles.
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