Charles Hassinger Posted on 12:26 pm

Preprint: what it is, how it works

Publishing and disseminating a search in an easy and fast way seems impossible for you? Believe me: with preprint, this scenario is already a reality!

Although the format is still very recent, preprints are increasingly popular in academia.

So, take your scientific research out of the drawer, start analyzing the possibility of publishing it as a preprint and increase the chances of seeing it being disseminated by researchers around the world.

What is preprint?

Do you know what preprint means?

The word “Preprint” comes from English and, when translated, means pre-print or prepublication.

In general, preprint is understood as a document of original content and scientific content that was posted in an online repository before the evaluation of a bank.

In other words, it has not undergone the traditional peer review – a type of evaluation of works that is very characteristic of journals and scientific journals.

As it is in an online repository and not in a scientific journal, preprint is also known as “unpublished” article.

In the preprint format, the author can disseminate the scientific research more quickly even if it is not completely finished – because of this some call it ‘draft’.

The author can also update the content whenever necessary (when new research data appears, for example).

In addition to editions, many authors also accept collaborations from other researchers during the construction of the preprint.

Why publish preprints?

The process of publishing traditional articles – in scientific journals, with peer review – takes a long time.

Preprints enable the rapid dissemination of ideas, data sharing and information updating.

With preprints, authors also receive faster feedback on their research. This is critical for applied research, for example.

When the research is of an applied nature, it aims to generate immediate knowledge and practical application to the population.

It is quite common for researches in the Health area to be of an applied nature.

This is what happened with a preprint about Zika Virus, published in 2016. In face of the epidemic that plagued Brazil that year, there was an urgent need to find solutions to symptoms and point out the relationship between Zika Virus and microcephaly.

Without time to wait for the approval of the journals, the researchers opted to publish the results of the researches in preprint format.

Advantages of preprint


The author is the one who decides whether to publish the research or not. He does not need to depend on the approval of journal editors.

Therefore, the chance of scientific content reaching more people is much greater.

Moreover, the author deposits the preprint in an online repository.

In other words, his preprint does not depend on territorial boundaries, which makes researchers from all over the world can read and share the results of his research.


If the preprint is more accessible, it tends to be seen more by people, do you agree?

This visibility is fundamental for authors who wish to establish themselves in the scientific environment.

With the DOI of your preprint, you can count the number of citations that your scientific research received.

This only contributes to show the authority and relevance of your research.

It is known that indexers like Google Scholar use the number of citations as a relevance factor for search results.

Feedbacks and joint knowledge building

Because the format allows other researchers to comment and interact with your preprint, you can better measure the impact of your research. And scientific communication becomes more efficient!

Also, the chances of finding a wider audience for your work increase. Even if, in the future, you choose to submit the finished article to a journal

Unlimited updates

Whenever new data comes up or you need to change your search information, you can change it.

All versions are saved and available in the system. This way, the reader can follow all the updates made and the progress of the search.


Agility is perhaps the most attractive point of preprint. With it, you can spread your research more quickly, share it, and edit it at any time.

As everything is online, the changes become available to other researchers in up to a day. You could notice that preprint takes very seriously the dissemination of information, right?


Every choice has positive and negative sides. With the preprint, it is no different.

According to American Journal Experts, some researchers have raised pertinent points about the preprint and that deserve its evaluation. But, even so, according to them, the positive aspects stand out in relation to the negative ones.

Plagiarism attempts

First, they emphasize that a laboratory or institute with larger resources can use the data from a preprint and publish it before the author.

However, some online repositories, such as the Even3 one, present not only the date of the preprint’s posting, but also of each file update. Thus, the author is assured that the idea and experimentation of the research was his.

To ensure even greater security in this matter, be sure to issue the DOI of your preprint.

Lack of originality

Another disadvantage is that some scientific journals do not accept to publish articles that have been the fruit of preprints.

They use as criteria of reproach the lack of originality of these works, once they are already posted and accessible on the web.

So, it is always good to map the journals that are interesting for your research and evaluate the criteria for submission of them.