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I read often that preprint servers such as arXiv are changing how we publish. However, no one in my area of medical imaging uses them and they are regarded in my lab with suspicion.
I currently have a finished manuscript that I am about to send to an IEEE transaction journal. I would like a preprint of this manuscript to be publicly available for several reasons. However, my supervisors are worried this might invalidate my ability to publish this manuscript. They don't want to take the risk that I do this wrong and can't publish.
So here is the simple question I never seem to see a simple answer to. Here is a finished manuscript, fully formatted for the journal I am going to submit it to, in PDF. Can I submit this PDF as a pre-print to arXiv right now, or not? Will the publisher still consider publishing it? To play devil's advocate, why wouldn't IEEE say, this has already been published in the arXiv, it is no longer new work?
Edit: Here is what IEEE says: "Does IEEE consider an author posting her paper on preprint servers or on her company's web sites to be a form of prior publication, which may then disqualify the paper from further editorial consideration? No. IEEE policy allows an author to submit previously posted papers to IEEE publications for consideration as long as she is able to transfer copyright to IEEE, i.e., she had not transferred copyright to another party prior to submission."