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Preprints and media embargoes

Using preprint 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 early versions of articles they intend to submit to a peer-reviewed journal in appropriate preprint repositories such as arXiv, bioRxivengrXivpaleorXiv and PeerJ Preprints.

A preprint is defined as the manuscript submitted to a journal (pre review), an earlier draft, or any part thereof.

Preprints may be deposited at any time and made freely available. 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.

Posting a preprint on a recognised preprint 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.

Please note that once a manuscript has been revised and accepted to the journal it is no longer classed as a preprint, and cannot be made openly available. For information on what you can do with these later manuscript versions please see the licence to publish.

When posting a preprint on a preprint server or a repository, we recommend that you:

  • make clear the status of the work, e.g. that it has not been formally peer reviewed or accepted by a journal (or other recognised venue);
  • take responsibility to safeguard sensitive information, such as patient identities or the location of endangered species, and adhere to appropriate standards of reporting and ethical oversight; and
  • add a link to the final publisher version, once the article is accepted and formally published.

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.