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Say, I have a paper written up. I wish to publish it in a reputed journal without submitting it to arXiv. The first journal(A) I submit it to rejects it. I send the paper to a 2nd journal (B) for submission. At the same time, some other group submits a paper to another journal (C) and it gets published there. Is there any way to avoid this problem without using arXiv?

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My main advice is that this is not something you need to do.

You could use an alternate repository. Many universities have one. Some have embargoes.

The old way to do it was to mail the paper to yourself in a sealed, postmarked envelope. I suppose you could have it notarized as well.

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  • A modern version of mailing a document to yourself would be to obtain a digital time stamp (e.g. from freetsa.org) – Julian Rosen Jul 11 at 17:24
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You could pre-register your study (e.g. on OSF: Open Science Framework), attach your paper draft to it, and add a temporal embargo on the pre-registration (OSF allows for this option).

That way, the pre-registration (including the paper draft) is saved with a timestamp, but invisible to the public until a pre-specified date or until you choose to end the embargo earlier than the pre-specified date (e.g. after paper acceptance or publication - see: End an Embargo Early).

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