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A guide to engineering resources in UVic Libraries

What is a Preprint?

What is a Pre-Print?

Preprints are "scholarly manuscripts that have not been peer reviewed or published in a traditional publishing venue (eg, journal, conference proceeding, book)".

-Malički M, Jerončić A, ter Riet G, et al. Preprint Servers’ Policies, Submission Requirements, and Transparency in Reporting and Research Integrity Recommendations. JAMA. 2020;324(18):1901–1903. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.17195

Can I use a pre-print for my essay or research article?

Yes, you can use a pre-print for your essay or research article, but there are many reasons why one would use a pre-print or not.

Preprints can offer several advantages including:

  • providing a quick introduction of a research area,
  • offering insight into current research across various fields,
  • allowing researchers to establish early claims on discoveries, and
  • enhancing accessibility by being freely available.

Additionally, preprints can allow early career researchers to share this work freely and easily, hence support the big push for Open Science and the Open Access Movement. 

However, many times it's also good to understand some of the lesser known disadvantages of preprints. 

  • Preprints include scholarly material such as articles that have been published prior to the peer review process
  •  While some preprint repositories ensure consistency and offer some quality checks, not all servers have adapted this process, hence it's important to check where the preprints are published. 
  • Preprints should also not be considered as the final checks on a research publication, since they haven't gone through the full peer-review process. Hence, they might include information that has not been vetted yet.
  • Sometimes preprints often get reviewed and these reviews can include several good but also bad comments and this might affect the author and the article's reputation as well
  • There might be a huge risk of bias in the preprints because of the authority, reviews as well as funding agency's that have published these but not undergone revisions or peer-review processes. 

Always check if the journal you are submitting to, if they are alright with a publication as a preprint or not, prior to depositing your article in a preprint server.

Engineering Pre-Prints

  • EngrXiv Preprint: This is an open access archive of engineering pre-prints.  
  • TechRxiv (pronounced "tech archive"): This is an open however moderated preprint server for unpublished research in electrical engineering, computer science, and related technology.  Some of the different areas of publication include but are not limited to: Aerospace, Bioengineering, Communication, Networking and Broadcast Technologies, Components, Circuits, Devices and Systems, Computing and Processing, Engineered Materials, Dielectrics and Plasmas, Engineering Profession, Fields, Waves and Electromagnetics, General Topics for Engineers, Geoscience, Nuclear Engineering, Photonics and Electro-optics, Power, Energy and Industry Applications, Robotics and Control Systems, Signal Processing and Analysis, and Transportation.
  • arXiv: This is first preprint server that was established in 1991 and serves as a platform for researchers to freely upload and disseminate preprints prior to formal peer review. ArXiv primarily focuses on areas including physics, mathematics, computer science, quantitative biology, quantitative finance, statistics, electrical engineering and systems science, and economics. 
  • bioRxiv: This preprint server launched in 2013, catering specifically to the biological sciences and including various subfields, including cancer biology, neurology, paleontology, and beyond, before undergoing formal peer review. 
  • ChemRxiv: This is a preprint server for Chemistry and it allows researchers to share their work prior to formal peer review.
  • MedRxiv: This is a preprint server that focused on research dissemination in the field of medicine and health sciences disciplines. 
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This work by The University of Victoria Libraries is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License unless otherwise indicated when material has been used from other sources.