Typical publishing workflow for an academic journal article: Rounds of drafting & informal feedback lead to a Preprint, which can be a work in progress or a submitted version. It can always be shared in a green OA repository at any time. After journal submission, peer review, and author correction, there is a Postprint, which is an author-accepted manuscript (AAM). It can always bed shared in a green OA repository after acceptance by a journal (sometimes after embargo). After it is copy-edited, typeset, and formatted, the article is published, resulting in the version on record via PDF/HTML/XML and the DOI from the journal. This can usually only be shared if published by a gold OA or hybrid journal.Preprint repositories provide an opportunity to share manuscripts and working papers prior journal publication.

  • Preprint repositories allow researchers to deposit, discover and disseminate scholarship in the early stages of the the research process

  • Preprint manuscripts have not yet gone through the traditional publisher-based peer-review system

  • Major preprint servers include a feedback forum permitting scholars to offer comments, reviews and transparently evaluate preprint manuscripts collectively online

Image: Thomas Shafee. "Typical publishing workflow for an academic journal article." Shared under CC-BY License.

Selected Preprint Repositories for Health Science, Biomedical & Social Science research:

  • bioRxiv: A free online archive and distribution service for preprints in the life sciences and operated by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.

  • medRxiv: A free online archive and distribution server for complete but unpublished manuscripts in the medical, clinical, and related health sciences.

  • arXiv: Containing scholarly articles in the fields of physics, mathematics, computer science, quantitative biology, quantitative finance, statistics, electrical engineering and systems science, and economics.

  • SSRN: Preprint repository representing disciplines across the full research spectrum, including the applied sciences, health sciences, humanities, life sciences, physical sciences, and social sciences.