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.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia // See also: Manuscript (publishing)

The globally established workflow for sharing scholarly results is via journal publishing. In Africa, many journals are published in print only, thereby articles published here will not be discoverable. 

African researchers face a high rejection rate for submissions to international (western) journals, for various reasons including regional bias or grammar and formatting issues. Other barriers are APC’s and access to western scholarly databases for literature review. 

Preprints are the author’s final version of a manuscript and can be shared online free of charge. If shared on an independent specialized scholarly repository, like one of those integrated with AfricArXiv, accepted manuscripts will be licensed (usually with CC-BY),  assigned with a d.o.i. and indexed in a scholarly digital database — thereby establishing priority of discovery for the author and making the work citable and at the same time discoverable. This form of archiving is known as Green Open Access.

AfricArXiv also welcomes the submission of postprints — the manuscript version of an article after peer review and before typesetting and formatting. Many journals charge a fee to access the final, formatted version of a research article. By sharing the reviewed version of the paper on AfricArXiv, scholars ensure that their work can be accessed free of charge. 

What is a Preprint by

Directory of preprint server policies and practices


Beck, J., Ferguson, C. A., Funk, K., Hanson, B., Harrison, M., Ide-Smith, M., … Swaminathan, S. (2020, July 21). Building trust in preprints: recommendations for servers and other stakeholders.

Soderberg Courtney K., Errington Timothy M., Nosek Brian A. (2020) Credibility of preprints: an interdisciplinary survey of researchers. R. Soc. open sci.7201520

Rouhi S, (Dec 2019) “To preprint or not to preprint?” What’s the opportunity cost of early, non-peer-reviewed publicly available research? PLOS blog

Sarabipour S, Debat HJ, Emmott E, Burgess SJ, Schwessinger B, Hensel Z (2019) On the value of preprints: An early career researcher perspective. PLoS Biol 17(2): e3000151.

Speidel R & Spitzer M (2018) Preprints: The What, The Why, The How. Centre for Open Science – Blog.

Tennant J, Bauin S, James S, & Kant J (2018). The evolving preprint landscape: Introductory report for the Knowledge Exchange working group on preprints.

Vianello, S. D. (2021). The “Pre” in [my] “Preprint” is for Pre-figurative. Commonplace.