Upload a Preprint

Preprints allow you to receive feedback quickly on your research and gain a wider audience for your work. OSF Preprints and the community preprint services follow the same upload process. Read our Preprint FAQs to learn more about preprints. 

When you create a preprint with OSF Preprints or a community preprint provider, an OSF project will be created to connect to your preprint. Because your preprint will also be on 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

First, navigate to OSF Preprints or a community preprint service.

Then click the Add a preprint button.

You will be taken to the submission page.

2. Select a service

Select the preprint service to which you want to upload your preprint. OSF Preprints will be selected by default.

Then click Save and Continue.

3. Upload

Uploading PDFs is recommended. All file types are supported and most render in browser. 

Next, upload your preprint file in one of the following two ways.

Upload a new preprint

An OSF project will be created to connect to your preprint so that you can add supplemental materials.

Click the Upload new preprint button.

An upload zone will appear.

Either drag and drop your preprint file into the upload zone, or click inside the upload zone to choose a file from a dialog box.

Then enter 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.

Connect preprint to existing OSF project

Choose this option if you want to connect an existing OSF project to your preprint.

Click Connect preprint to existing OSF project.

Next, 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 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.

Select Make a new component to connect your preprint to a new component.

Select 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 the Continue button.

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.

Enter the title of your project into the text field.

Then click Save and continue.

3. Discipline

Adding disciplines to your preprint will enhance discoverability of your work. The list of disciplines will vary by preprint server.

Select at least one discipline to help define your preprint.

Then click Save and continue.

4. Basics

This section allows you to add metadata to your preprint, including a licence, original publication date, DOI, and abstract.

  1. (required) Choose a license for your preprint from the drop-down menu. You can select a license and then click the Show full text link to learn about each license type. We encourage you to add a license in order to communicate how you want others to use your research.

    If you choose the "No license" option, fill out the "Year" and "Copyright Holders" fields. These fields are required when you do not license your preprint.

    Choose whether you want to extend the license to the OSF project that's connected to your preprint.
  2. A DOI will be assigned to your preprint upon sharing. If your work has been previously peer-reviewed and published in a journal, you can enter the associated DOI into the "Peer-reviewed publication DOI" field, and your preprint will have both the generated DOI and the journal DOI.
  3. If your work has been previously published, provide the publication date in the "Original publication date" field. This date will appear in your citations.
  4. Enter tags into the "Keywords" section to enhance discoverability of your work.
  5. (required) Enter an abstract for your preprint into the "Abstract" box. Your abstract must be at least 20 characters long.

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

5. Authors

This section allows you to add your co-authors as contributors to your preprint and OSF project. There are two ways to add an author. If your co-author does not have an OSF account, you will need to add them as an unregistered user. If your co-author does have an OSF account, you can add them as a registered user.

After you have added your co-authors and submitted the preprint, they will receive an email notifying them that they have been added as co-authors to the preprint. 

Add an unregistered user

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

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.

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 claim their account.

Add a registered user

If the author has an OSF account, enter their name or OSF profile information (ORCiD ID, Twitter handle, GitHub username, etc.) into the search box, and their name will appear in the list of results.

Then click the Add button next to 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 the icon with three bars, then drag and drop the 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 permissions, click inside the "Permissions" menu 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.

Authors will appear in citations by default. To remove an author from citations, uncheck the box under the "Citation" column.

6. Create

When you’ve completed these sections, it's time to share your preprint!

Read the instructions in this section, then click the Create preprint button.

A modal will appear asking you to confirm that you want to share your preprint.

Click the Create button in the modal.

Your preprint will be uploaded to the selected preprint service. You will receive a confirmation email upon sharing. 

Your coauthors will receive an email notifying them that you have shared the preprint.

A preprint service may use pre- or post-moderation, in which case a moderator will either accept or reject your preprint. Your preprint will have a "pending" status which indicates that it's awaiting moderation. A yellow or blue banner will appear at the top of your preprint page depending on whether the preprint service uses pre- or post-moderation, respectively. Learn more at Submitting to a Moderated Preprint Service.