Your preprint pre-posting checklist
PLOS’ preprint transfer service makes it easy for submitting authors to post preprints on bioRxiv. Here are a few tips to make this process as smooth as possible.
Just like submitting a manuscript to a journal, all co-authors must agree to post a preprint. If you’re having trouble convincing your colleagues, check out our page on the benefits of preprint posting.
If you conduct research in the life sciences, bioRxiv could be the perfect home for your preprint. Consider medRxiv for manuscripts in the health sciences. In the physical sciences arXiv is the gold standard. OSF hosts a range of discipline-specific servers, and new venues for preprints are emerging all the time.
Preprints are typically posted in PDF format. Many servers offer automatic conversion services, or you can provide your own ready-to-post preprint file. To do so, prepare a PDF version of your manuscript that includes all of the elements you expect to see in a published article: title, authors, abstract, and the full text of the study, along with any figures or tables and their captions. Be sure to check the server guidelines for file size limitations. Learn more about formatting preprint files.
Just like a published article, it’s important to ensure that all ethical requirements are met before making a preprint public. Especially, make sure that your manuscript is free from patient information or other protected personal data. If you’re posting through PLOS, the journal office will check for this and other potential issues, such as dual use of research concern, text overlap, and scope. Read more about PLOS’ preprint screening process.
All PLOS preprints are posted Open Access under a CC BY license. Before you post, double check that you have appropriate permissions for any proprietary data, patents, figures, maps, or other potentially copyrighted material.
We encourage all authors to share your research outputs early through the public posting of preprints. As a service to our authors, many of the PLOS journals also offer the option to post a preprint to bioRxiv during initial submission. Whether you’re posting to bioRxiv through PLOS, or using another server, posting a preprint is so easy — why not have your paper work for you even before it’s formally published.