My paper has been rejected recently but its content could be seen in the Research Square website. Why has this happened, and why did it also get a DOI link?

I asked and they answered:

Thank you for your message. Your work has been posted as a preprint on Research Square through the optional In Review preprint service offered by SpringerNature during journal submission.

A preprint posted on the Research Square Platform is issued an official DOI and becomes a part of the citable scholarly literature. DOIs are intended to be permanent records and cannot be fully removed. Additionally, GoogleScholar, ResearchGate, EuropePMC and Crossref automatically index preprints, creating a permanent digital presence. In Review preprints remain posted regardless of the status at the journal.

However, please note that the DOI also ensures that your work is properly linked to you, which helps avoid another individual claiming credit for your work. Finally, preprints are widely embraced by most major publishers, so a preprint is unlikely to negatively affect your publication chances.

Please let me know if you have any further questions or concerns.

So can I publish this work in another journal? Since it is not published? I don't understand why they have done that.

  • 3
    This needs details. Who rejected your paper? What did you agree to when you submitted this? Aug 21, 2021 at 16:17
  • A prestigious journal rejected it. Normal submission sir Aug 21, 2021 at 17:40
  • Was the journal in any way affiliated with research square? researchsquare.com/journals Aug 21, 2021 at 18:53
  • 1
    even if affiliated why put there after rejection Aug 22, 2021 at 13:29
  • 6
    Did you opt-in to the "optional In Review preprint service offered by SpringerNature"? It sounds like you did, or at least the journal thinks you did, and that would answer the "why has this happened" part of your question.
    – Bryan Krause
    Aug 24, 2021 at 18:23

2 Answers 2


Research Square seems to be an attempt by SpringerNature to make a profit by operating their own preprint server. I suggest that this will never work and the scientific community will not support their efforts.

The fact that your work appears in Research Square has no relation to your submission of the paper to another journal.

  • 2
    In addition I don’t see how assigning a DOI implies transfer of copyright and thus how it can imply the paper cannot be resubmitted, but IANAL… Aug 24, 2021 at 18:41
  • 1
    @ZeroTheHero Several preprint services would have problems if it did.
    – Anyon
    Aug 24, 2021 at 19:58
  • 2
    Transfer of copyright is something that must be done explicitly. But some journals won't publish things that have appeared in preprint. This might be an attempt by Springer's parent to lock out papers from (some) other journals even for papers not accepted.
    – Buffy
    Aug 24, 2021 at 19:59
  • So, you mean I cannot submit in other journals? It is not like that. but the fact that they put this paper to public access is strange. Aug 25, 2021 at 16:07

I suspect you opted into this:

To opt in, all co-authors agree to have their manuscript posted as a preprint with a CC-BY 4.0 license and a DOI, becoming a permanent part of the scholarly record. Read more about our editorial policies here.

If you were tricked into this by an odd website then perhaps these journals are not reputable after all.

I have never heard of having the submission to the journal combined with the posting of a preprint. I think these should be separate but I can see the appeal of combining this.

  • 3
    So I asked and they answered like above in the post. Can you please help me about my questions ? Aug 24, 2021 at 14:43
  • 1
    No this is reputable journal from springer Aug 27, 2021 at 18:48
  • "I have never heard of having the submission to the journal combined with the posting of a preprint." This seems to be a recent thing. I have seen something similar a few months ago with a Wiley journal and a preprint service called Authorea. Never heard of this before, but the journal itself was definitely reputable. Dec 30, 2021 at 12:55

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