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 have the same upload process. Read our FAQs to learn more about preprints and the different preprint servers. For instructions on how to prepare for a preprint, see thishelp guide: How to Prepare Your Preprint

You will first need to create an OSF account in order to upload preprints to OSF Preprints or the community preprint servers. At this time, uploading the same preprint to more than one preprint server is not supported. 

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 will 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. Add a preprint to OSF Preprints or a community preprint server

First, sign in to the OSF or create an OSF account.

Then, click the Browse tab in the navigation bar, and click Preprints from the drop-down menu.

The "OSF Preprints" homepage will appear.

To upload your preprint to a community preprint server, scroll down the "OSF Preprints" homepage to the "Preprint Services" section. Then, click on a community preprint server name. Use the left and right arrows to access more community preprint servers.

You will be taken to the community preprint server homepage.

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

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 or create an account here.

Check to make sure that you are adding your preprint to the correct preprint server. If you are on the "OSF Preprints" homepage, and you click the Add a preprint button, your preprint will be uploaded to OSF Preprints. If you are 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.

After you click the Add a preprint button, you will be taken to the "Add Preprint" page where you will complete the preprint upload process.

2. Upload your preprint file

You can upload a preprint file in either one of the following two ways. All file types are supported and most render in browser.

Upload a new file

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

Click Upload new preprint.

Either drag and drop your preprint file onto the "Add Preprint" page, or click inside the box to choose a file from a dialog box.

Next, type a title for your preprint into the textbox that appears. Note: The preprint filename is permanent and cannot be changed or edited after the preprint has been submitted.

Then, click Save and continue.

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. A new OSF project will not be created to connect to your preprint in this case.

Click Connect preprint to existing OSF project.

Then choose the OSF project or component from the drop-down menu that you want to connect to your preprint.

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

1. Click Upload preprint to add a new file that's not already uploaded to your OSF project. Either drag and drop your preprint file onto the page, or, you double click inside the box to select your preprint file from a dialog box.

2. 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 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 authors

There are two workflows to add an author, depending on whether the author has an account on the OSF.

Add an unregistered author

To add an author that does not have an OSF account, type the author's name into the search box.

Search By Name

Then click Add author by email address.

The "Add author by email" section will appear below the search box.

Enter the author's name into the first field and the author's email address into the second field.

Then click Add.

Add Author By Email

After you submit the preprint, the unregistered author will receive an email notifying them that they have been added to the preprint. There will be a link in the email that they can follow to create their account.

Add a registered author

If the author has an OSF account, type their name into the search box, and their name will appear in the list of results.

Then click Add to the right of their name.

After you submit the preprint, the author will receive an email notifying them that they have been added as a contributor to the preprint. There will be a link in the email that the author can follow to view the preprint.

Reorder authors

The order in which your authors appear in the "Authors" list is the order in which they will appear in citations.

To reorder authors, click and hold the icon with three bars, then drag and drop the author names into the right place.

Reorder Authors

Modify permissions and citations

When you add an author to a preprint, they are given "Read + Write" permissions by default. To change the level of permisisons, click inside the "Permissions" box and choose the appropriate permissions for each author.

The different levels of permissions are:

  • Read: The author can view the preprint and its OSF project but cannot make changes to them.
  • Read + Write: The author can view the preprint but cannot edit it. However, this author can make changes to the project such as, upload and delete files, create, edit, and delete wiki pages, configure add-ons, and create new components.    
  • Administrator: The author can view and edit a preprint, and has all of the privileges that a "read + write" author does, with the additional abilities to add/delete authors and control permissions. Administrators are also granted read access to all components within the project, even if the administrator is not a contributor on the component.

All authors appear in citations by default; however, if any of the authors don't want to appear in citations, uncheck the box under the "Citation" column next to their name.

Then click Next.

6. Share your preprint

When you’re finished completing these sections, it's time to share your preprint!

Read the instructions in this section, as it explains what happens after the preprint has been created.

Then click Share to submit your preprint. 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 have 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