Q: What is a preprint?
A preprint is a pre-peer reviewed version of a scholarly paper that is posted to an open access platform. A preprint is usually posted before, or at the same time, it is submitted to a journal to be peer reviewed.
Q: Why do authors post preprints?
In some disciplines, like physics and mathematics, preprints have been a well-established part their discipline. However, preprints are becoming increasingly popular and there has been a recent proliferation of preprint services in a number of disciplines from biomedicine to law. The benefits of preprints is primarily speed. Because preprints are not peer reviewed, they can be made available online very rapidly. This helps authors establish primacy with their research and also makes their research available to the community quickly. Furthermore, authors can sometimes receive feedback on their preprints prior to them submitting them to a journal, which allows them to improve their papers before submission.
Q: Are preprints considered published?
Preprints are generally not considered published because they have not gone through the peer review process. Most journals allow authors to submit papers to their journals even if they have been made available on a preprint server previously. Sage’s Green Archiving policy, which the majority of our journals follow, allows authors to share their pre-peer reviewed version anywhere at any time. However, individual journals may not accept for consideration papers that have been posted on preprint servers. Please check the submission guidelines of the journal you are submitting to and confirm with the Editor or Editorial Office directly.
Q: Which Sage journals allow preprint submissions?
If you’re interested in submitting your preprint to one of Sage’s journals and want to know which journals allow submissions from preprints, you can check this directory for HSS titles and this one for STM titles. Please note that while most journals allow this, some journals do not allow submissions from papers that are already available on a preprint server. It is important to check the submission guidelines of the journal you plan to submit to so you can ensure the journal doesn't have a policy against this.
Q: Where can I post a preprint?
There are a number of preprint servers available, ranging from discipline specific servers to more broad servers, like Sage’s own preprint server, Advance, that covers all research in the humanities and social sciences. For a comprehensive list of preprint servers, check out ASAPbio’s survey of preprint servers.
Q: Does my preprint have a Digital Object Identifier (DOI)?
Most dedicated preprint servers will assign a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) to the preprints they accept, usually in the format of a string of numbers or letters composed of a publisher prefix and a suffix, separated by a forward slash (10.xxxxx/xxxxxxxxxxxx). The arXiv has its own system of identifiers composed of a four-digit and a five-digit string separated by a period (xxxx.xxxxx). The DOI will usually be clearly identified in the preprint information or citation section of the preprint online page.
Preprints posted in institutional repositories or on faculty websites will usually not have a DOI.
The DOI is distinct from its resolution URL (e.g. https://dx.doi.org/10.xxxxx/xxxxxxxxxxxx or https://doi.org/10.xxxxx/xxxxxxxxxxxx). A number of journals published by Sage request that authors submitting an article that was previously posted as a preprint provide the preprint DOI along with their article submission. If this is your case, please provide the DOI only, not the full URL. If the question does not apply to you, leave the field blank.
Q: Do I have to post a preprint before submitting to a journal?
Absolutely not. Posting a preprint is totally optional and not a requirement on any Sage journal.
Q: Can I post my article as a preprint while it's under review?
Yes, but please be sure to add the preprint DOI to Sage Track if you submit a revision to the journal.
Q: Want to learn more?
Check out the Committee on Publication Ethics comprehensive guide to preprints to read more about preprints.
Check out our infographic on the 7 benefits of preprints.
Download our postcard with the Top 5 Reasons to submit your preprint.