Notes on publishing and scientific articles


Siobhon Egan


February 13, 2021

Publishing in peer-reviewed journals


Journal suggestion tools


In academic publishing, a preprint is a version of a scholarly or scientific paper that precedes formal peer review and publication in a peer-reviewed scholarly or scientific journal. The preprint may be available, often as a non-typeset version available free, before and/or after a paper is published in a journal.

Publishing is a costly exercise that you don’t think about until after you’ve got your funding and data and written the paper, but it is arguably the most important part of research…what good is your data if you cannot share it?

Especially for PhD students you will often have to publish in access only journals - these journals are free to publish in but only those with a subscription can view it. These days most journals will allow you to submit a pre-print of your work to a server, this is a great option as it means you still get the beautiful published article but can also share the ‘not-so-pretty’ version as well. However this ruling is not universal among journal so make sure you check the journal requirements before submitting a preprint!

Preprint servers will assign your article a DOI, meaning you can easily reference your work while it is going through the peer review process. Once published the DOI will usually transfer automatically to the published version. You may find that for some of the academic/publication databases you will have to manually ‘merge’ the preprint and published entries.

For more info on preprints see here and here. An excellent article by Sarabipour et al. 2019 will be useful to help convince your co-authors on the value of submitting to a preprint server!

Some pre-print servers include:

  • bioRxiv - preprint server for biology
  • medRxiv - prerint server for health sciences
  • arXiv - preprint server for physics, mathematics, computer science, quantitative biology, quantitative finance, statistics, electrical engineering and systems science, and economics.
  • Research Square - Research Square is a leading author, editorial, and video services provider. We are a trusted partner to many of the leading academic publishers, institutions, and societies worldwide.