Share a Preprint

This article will walk you through a few easy steps to share a preprint. Sharing a preprint will allow you to receive quick feedback on your research and gain a wider audience for your work.

OSF Preprints and the community preprint servers follow the same upload process. At this time, our workflow only supports uploading to one preprint server at a time. If you already have an OSF account, you will automatically have an account with the community preprint servers, as well. Likewise, when you create an account with a community preprint server, an OSF account will automatically be created for you.

If you have contributors on a preprint, communicate with them that you want to share your work as a preprint prior to uploading it.

When you create a preprint with OSF Preprints or a community preprint server, an OSF project will be automatically created to connect to your preprint. Because your preprint will also be on the OSF, you’ll get access to other features like analytics on how many others are accessing and downloading your work, a persistent identifier to allow your preprint to be cited, and the ability to add supplemental files, like data or analysis scripts.

1. Go to OSF Preprints or a community preprint server

First, go to the OSF.

Click the Browse tab in the gray navigation bar, then click Preprints from the drop-down menu.

The "OSF Preprints" homepage will appear.

To upload your preprint to OSF Preprints, stay on the "OSF Preprints" homepage.

To upload your preprint to a community preprint server, go to their homepage in one of the following ways:

1. Either, enter their URL into your browser.

2. Or, scroll down the "OSF Preprints" homepage to the "Preprint Services" section. Then, click on a community preprint server name.

Make sure that you're logged in to the correct preprint server before you upload your preprint. If you're on the "OSF Preprints" homepage, and you click the Add a preprint button, your preprint will be uploaded to OSF Preprints. If you're on a community preprint server's homepage (e.g. PsyArXiv), and you click the Add a preprint button, your preprint will be uploaded to that community preprint server.

When you're ready to upload your preprint to OSF Preprints or a community preprint server, click the Add a preprint button. If you're not already logged in to the OSF or a community preprint server, you will be asked to log in before you can add your preprint.

If you're sharing your preprint on a community preprint server and you don't have an OSF account, you can create an account now.

After your click the Add a preprint button, the "Add Preprint" page will appear.

2. Upload your preprint file

The preprint upload process is the same for OSF Preprints and the community preprint servers. Follow the instructions below to share your preprint with OSF Preprints or the community preprint servers.

There are two ways you can upload a preprint.

You can upload any file format to the OSF. Most file types render in browser.

Upload a new file

If you choose to upload a new preprint, an OSF project will automatically be created to connect to your preprint so that you can add supplemental files.

Click Upload new preprint in the "Upload" section.

You can upload your new preprint in two different ways:

1. Either, drag and drop your preprint file onto the "Add Preprint" page.

2. Or, click inside the "Drop preprint file here to upload" box. A dialog box will open. Select your preprint file from the dialog box, then click Choose to upload your preprint.

After the upload is complete, enter a title for your preprint. Note: The preprint filename is permanent and cannot be changed or edited after the preprint is submitted.

Then click Save and continue or press the return key (Mac) or the enter key (Windows) on your computer.

The "Upload" section will close, and the "Discipline" section will open.

Turn an OSF project into a preprint

Choose this option if you want to use one of your existing OSF projects or components for your preprint.

Click Connect preprint to existing OSF project.

Then choose the OSF project or component from the drop-down menu that you want to turn into a preprint.

There are two options available for uploading your preprint file to your existing OSF project or component:

1. You can click Upload preprint to add a new file that's not already part of your OSF project. You can drag and drop your preprint file onto the "Add Preprint" page. Or, you can double click inside the "Drop preprint file here to upload" box, and a dialog box will open. Select your preprint file from the dialog box and click the Choose button to upload your preprint.

2. You can click Select existing file as preprint if you want to turn a file you previously uploaded to your project or component into a preprint. Only the files uploaded to OSF Storage will be available for you to choose from. Select the file that you want to use.

Note: The preprint filename is permanent and cannot be changed or edited after the preprint is submitted.

After you add your preprint file, you can choose to either create a new component within the project or component you originally selected or to use the project or component you have already selected.

You can click Make a new component if you want your preprint file to be part of a new component within your project or component. Note that if you originally chose to upload your preprint to one of your   components and you now choose to make a new component, the new component will be a subcomponent.

Or, you can click Use the current [project] [component] if you want your preprint to be part of the project or component you originally selected.

If you click Use the current [project] [component], a modal will appear in which you should click Continue with this [project] [component] to confirm that you want to add your preprint to an existing project or component.

If you add your preprint to an existing project or component, the authors and title of your preprint will be extended to your OSF project or component.

If you made a new component for your preprint, enter a title for your preprint into the title field. Note that your component title will always be the same as your preprint title.

If you're using an existing OSF project or component for your preprint, the original project or component title will automatically appear in the title field. You can edit or rename your preprint title in this field. Note that your project or component title will always be the same as your preprint title.

Click Save and continue or press the return key (Mac) or the enter key (Windows) on your computer.

The "Upload" section will close, and the "Discipline" section will open.

3. Choose a discipline for your preprint

Choose a discipline for your preprint to enhance discoverability of your work.

You can choose a broad top-level discipline, then get more specific with two additional levels of subdisciplines. You must choose at least one top-level subject, but you can continue to add more if they best describe you work.

After you've chosen your discipline(s), click Save and continue.

4. Add basic information

Choose a license for your preprint from the drop-down menu. "No license" is selected automatically from the menu. However, we highly recommend that you add a license in order to let users know how they should use your research. You can choose a license and then click the Show full text link to learn about each license type.

If you choose the "No license" option, fill out the "Year" and Copyright Holders" fields. These fields are required when you don't add a license to your preprint. They disappear when you choose another license from the menu.

Choose whether or not you want to apply the license to the OSF project connected to your preprint. Remember that if you upload a new preprint, an OSF project will be automatically be created to connect to your preprint.

Optionally, you can enter a DOI (if your work has been previously published in a journal and already has one) or add tags to enhance discoverability of your work.

Provide an abstract for your preprint in the "Abstract" box. Note that your abstract must be at least 20 characters long.

Click Save and continue when you're finished filling out this section.

5. Add your coauthors

Search for your collaborators by typing their names into the search box. If they don’t have an account on the OSF, you can add them as an unregistered contributor by clicking the blue Add author by email address button.

The order in which your coauthors appear in the "Authors" list is the order in which they will appear in citations on OSF Preprints. You can reorder contributors by dragging and dropping their names into the right place.

Click Next when you're finished adding and arranging authors.

6. Share your preprint

When you’ve finished completing these sections, make sure that you've communicated with your contributors and that all have agreed to share the preprint.

After you click Share, you will be taken directly to your preprint on the "Preprint Detail" page where you can edit, read, download, and cite your preprint.

Your coauthors will receive an email to let them know that you've shared your work. If you’d like to add supplemental files like data or analysis scripts, you can do this now.

Read more about uploading files to OSF Projects in this help article: Uploading files