The COPE preprints discussion document addresses how preprints serve research communities, with guidance on navigating the ethical challenges and opportunities presented to journal editors. COPE welcomes comments which add to this ongoing debate.
The benefits of preprints are addressed such as accelerating research communication and establishing precedence; giving editors opportunities to scout upcoming work or facilitating transfer of papers to journals, alongside the challenges such as ‘scooping’, screening, industry-wide standards and credibility of non-reviewed research. There are questions about the status of preprints in various disciplines, and the implications for submission, subsequent publication, copyright and licensing and links to peer review.
- Preprints are a form of publication which enable pre-peer reviewed articles to be disseminated quickly and widely, under open access licenses, usually at no cost to authors.
- The preprint landscape is evolving rapidly and extensively across a wide range of subject areas, and is likely to remain a permanent fixture of the publishing cycle.
- Preprints offer a wide range of benefits to authors, researchers, publishers, and the public.
- There are challenges and concerns to address around the verification and integrity of sound science in research published as preprints.
- Journal editors and publishers should be mindful of developing policies around preprints, and consider incorporating them into their instructions for authors and submission processes.
Preprints and their place in the publication ethics landscape panel discussion at WCRI, 2019
COPE welcomes feedback from publishers, journal editors, preprint platforms, researchers, librarians, funders, and other stakeholders on this subject. Add your feedback below.
About this resource
Written by COPE Council
Version 1 March 2018
How to cite this
COPE Council. COPE Discussion Document: Preprints. March 2018. https://doi.org/10.24318/R4WByao2
Our COPE materials are available to use under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs license
Attribution — You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they
endorse you or your use of the work).
Non-commercial — You may not use this work for commercial purposes. No Derivative Works — You may not alter, transform, or build upon this work. We ask that you give full accreditation to COPE with a link to our website: publicationethics.org
Full page history
6 September 2021