The quality of a journal manuscript submission being equal, does posting a preprint on arXiv or bioRxiv hurt your chances of publication in a journal? I'm asking about bioinformatics, for journals such as

  • Genome Biology
  • Genome Research (CSHL)
  • BMC Bioinformatics
  • Bioinformatics (OUP)
  • PLOS Computational Biology … etc.

So what's the perception regarding having preprints of a paper for the journals in the above list? Do you think it could hurt ones chances slightly for acceptance?

I checked the policy of these journals, and preprints are not considered prior/duplicate publications, and are allowed. On the other hand Cell says they will consider it, but want you to talk to the editor first about your motivations etc. Doesn't sound very open to preprints. And ISMB partners with Cell Systems as far as I know.

  • Obviously you need to take this up with each journal separately as it seems that they have different policies. Most journals publish (or should) their policies so you may be able to find it without asking specifically, but ask before you jump.
    – Buffy
    Nov 16, 2018 at 17:10
  • I've checked the published policies of each of these journals (as mentioned in the question). My question is regarding the perception in the field, which may be different the cold policy statement. Papers may be considered for publication but still be considered less valuable. I'm not sure if that's the case. Nov 16, 2018 at 17:16

1 Answer 1


In my experience, preprints are the norm in bioinformatics. I do not know how journals perceive them, but these days I rarely read a new bioinformatics paper I have not already seen as a preprint. If a reputable journal has a bias against preprints, it cannot be very significant, because most papers I find interesting have preprints.

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