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Preprints, postprints and embargoes

Using preprint and postprint repositories

We are committed to increasing the accessibility of research and ensuring that it is communicated as rapidly as possible. To accelerate this process, we encourage researchers to deposit pre-publication versions of articles in appropriate preprint repositories such as arXiv, bioRxivengrXivpaleorXiv, EarthArXiv and PeerJ Preprints.

A preprint is defined as the version of the manuscript that is submitted to a journal, an earlier draft, or any part thereof. A postprint is the author’s manuscript version of the accepted paper. Depositing your postprint in a freely accessible repository is known as ‘green open access’. Full details of what you can do with these can be found in the licence to publish

Preprints and postprints may be deposited at any time and made freely available (but their reporting is subject to a media embargo - see below). Authors submitting to Proceedings A and Royal Society Open Science after prior deposition in arXiv benefit from a simpler article upload process using just the e-print number. The status of the manuscript should be made clear, and on publication of the definitive version on the publisher’s site full details and a link should be added.

Depositing a preprint or postprint on a personal or institutional website or a recognised server or repository does not constitute prior publication or a breach of our media embargo policy, and will prejudice neither the peer review process nor publication in our journals.

Authors are encouraged to post preprints prior to or concurrently with submission to a Royal Society journal. 

We offer "scoop protection" meaning that, if other researchers publish similar findings after submission to a Royal Society journal, this will not be considered a reason for rejection. This applies from the day a manuscript is posted on a recognized preprint server, if it is submitted to a Royal Society journal in a similar form within three months of posting.

We encourage authors to cite the preprint version in the accepted article. Authors are also permitted to cite other preprints, provided they are clearly identified as such.


Media embargoes

We employ a strict embargo policy where the reporting of a scientific article published in one of our journals by the media is embargoed until the day of publication. The media should not report on a preprint or postprint article if it is under consideration or accepted for publication by one of our journals until the day of official publication.

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