A preprint is a sneak preview of a research article before it is published. While published articles are important because of peer review (the formal process of having other scientists outside of your research group evaluate your work), preprints have several other advantages. That formal review process can sometimes take months, so posting a preprint means that people can read, use, and credit your work earlier. You can also participate in an informal peer review in the comments section of your preprint, and you may get feedback from unexpected sources or people outside your field and find problems before you submit your research to a journal.
Preprints have been commonly used in other fields for awhile, but have recently become popular in biology as scientists seek to decrease review times and provide more open access to their research. Here in the McMahon Lab, we’ve embraced this wholeheartedly and have several preprints currently online!
Feedback is welcome! Click on the citations below to read our preprints. We’d love to hear your thoughts and answer questions before our research is officially published.