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Make use of prepublications

Today, different ways of valuing its prepublications are possible depending on one's needs.

First of all, there are the "Épire revues"; this model, officially launched in 2013, proposes to collect a whole series of articles from open archives (HAL, ArXiv, CWI,...) and publish them in an open access journal. Only articles that have not yet been published may be submitted for publication in an Epi Reviews. All Epi Reviews are managed and hosted on the Episciences. org platform. It proposes a so-called' classic' publishing model, which also includes peer-reviewing via Epicommittees, i. e. scientific committees composed of recognized experts in their field. Each Épireview has its own personalized site but all the content remains hosted in the open archive.  Here you will find all the Epi Reviews that already exist. 


It is also possible to publish its prepublications in a journal with a collection of articles on a specific theme. This is the case with ScienceOpen Collections which collects a collection of articles from ArXiv and/or PubMed Central and gathers them into a disciplinary collection. Articles are also peer reviewed and the full text of the publication is hosted on the platform.

Finally, we will also mention the latest project « Peer community in ... » officially launched at the beginning of 2017. This free online platform offers an article recommendation system (published or unpublished) based on the traditional peer review system. Most of the articles submitted come from open archives or journals that are already freely available.  Peer community in Evolutionary Biologyis the first platform launched in early 2017 as part of this project.

All these systems enable researchers and scientific communities to gradually re-appropriate the various processes for publishing research work. We can therefore speak of an awareness on the part of researchers of the consequent work devoted to publishing their work. All the more so since this laborious work is often carried out at a lower cost for large publishers, whose extravagant profits are reserved exclusively for shareholders and investors.

Historically, researchers have produced and continue to produce many scientific contributions, some of which are intended to be published immediately, while others are not. Today, pre-prints are the subject of a new interest in the perspective of a more open science. Their particular nature makes it possible, in particular, to reuse them for the benefit of the scientific community.


Let's define "pre-print"

Before we go any further, let's define this type of documentWe will talk about pre-print to designate the text produced by one or more researchers before it has been validated by an editorial board and/or reviewed by a peer-review committee. It is therefore often a non-definitive version of a research publication before a possible (non-mandatory) official publication. On the other hand, we will talk about post-publication (postprint) version for texts that have been validated by peers and publisher version (published version), for, the text as published and formatted by the publisher in a journal, book or collection.



Some advantages of pre-publication

Pre-publication is a very interesting documentary resource to be exploited in particular because of its specific characteristics as a scientific production. First of all, a prepublication is not, or to a lesser extent, subject to the many distribution restrictions that traditionally apply to scientific publications (Copyright).  As a result, pre-publication benefits from better visibility and optimal dissemination (no publication delays). In addition, the often free accessibility of this content also makes it easier to use the texts made available.

Contrary to popular belief, preprints should not always be regarded as less scientifically valuable content. Pre-publications have a certain importance for the scientific community as well as, for example, the contents exchanged during scientific events (conferences, colloquia, study days, etc.). Moreover, it is often the case that preprints are cited in published articles. This commits the author's reputation and therefore the scientific seriousness of his preprints.

Finally, it is important for the young researcher to know that preprints can be taken into consideration, under certain conditions, for applications for funding or promotions throughout his or her scientific career. 

Open archives repository

In practice, it is the open archives (institutional or thematic) that will host the prepublications. At UCL, you can deposit the different versions of your publication as you proceed through the editorial steps in the DIAL. pr repository. Each deposited version may be subject to a different right of access if necessary (free, restricted, embargoed or prohibited).

For some disciplines, there are also thematic open archives dedicated to the archiving of prepublications and their dissemination on the web. Below you will find some examples of disciplinary archives:


  • ArXiv

It is certainly the best known but also a pioneer in the field of open thematic archives in physics, mathematics and computer science. This global archive, managed by the University of Cornell, holds more than one million pre-publications since the early 1990s. (Link to ArXiv)

  • SSRN

Social Science Research Network is certainly the oldest and best-known open access thematic repository for the social sciences and humanities. Launched in 1994, it now includes nearly 750,000 publications (mainly prepublications) in nearly 30 different disciplines (law, anthropology, economics, philosophy, literature, etc.). Since mid-2016, SSRN has unfortunately lost its' scientific independence' following its takeover by the commercial giant Elsevier. Following this acquisition, many critics were made by the scientific community accusing Elsevier of wanting to control a vertical concentration of production to the publication of scientific articles. (Link to SSRN)

  • SocArXiv

Launched at the end of 2016, SocArXiv can be considered an alternative to Elsevier's takeover of SSRN. 


 This fully open archive dedicated to the production of social science publications is managed by the University of Maryland. SocArXiv, like the other archives described below, was launched from the OSF (Open Science framework) platform and in partnership with the COS (Center for Open Science). Currently, SocArXiv lists just under 1,500 prepublications from researchers around the world. (Link to SocArXiv

  • PsyArXiv

PsyArXiv, like SocArXiv, can be considered as an extension of ArXiv for the field of psychology. The platform, launched in September 2016, uses the same technology as its colleagues and now lists just under 700 texts in psychological sciences. (Link to PsyArXiv)


  • Other more recent projects stemming from the' OSF Preprints' initiative and still in Beta mode are also being launched for the fields of law (LawArXiv), agronomy (AgriXiv) and engeneering (engrXiv).