I am currently writing a review paper in biology (conservation and ecology) and I am planning to publish this on a preprint platform. Two of the most common preprint server today are BioArVix and PeerJ. But, I'm wondering are there any bad side in submitting a paper on preprint?

1 Answer 1


The classical answer for that is:
Pro: More people are able to read your work, they are able to read it earlier, you will most likely reach more readers.
Contra: It might not always be beneficial to publish too soon, e.g. if your paper is just an introduction to a big, ongoing project, you might not want too many people to suddenly start working on the same project and maybe publish important results before you do. Furthermore, some journals might not allow it, so check that first.

Whenever such questions come up, there is always a little debate about whether or not it is good to upload to preprint archives. The base line of these discussions can be summarized as "Both sides have good arguments and things might strongly differ between different fields." Thus, you need to decide for yourself if you want to do it or not.

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    yes, I understood the cons as other authors can replicate the work and may publish the work. However, does the submission to a preprint an "assurance" that I (the author) came up first with the idea or with the data? But, in my case, this is only a literature review so I think there's no too critical issue on this matter.
    – xavier
    Aug 24, 2017 at 13:45
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    While I'd love to believe that the first to publish an idea somewhere is always the one who receives credit for it, history has shown this to often not be the case. My more realistic view is that it can also be the one who publishes an idea in the most compelling way, at a moment when the gestalt is receptive to it, that will receive credit. There's often overlap of course, and if an idea fits represents the next logical step in a line of inquiry it's unlikely to be a problem. But if you're proposing a radically new or unorthodox idea and are first to publish, the outcome may differ.
    – Greenstick
    Aug 29, 2017 at 17:25

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