OSF GuidesPreprints Help GuidesHow to Prepare Your Preprint

How to Prepare Your Preprint

Follow these 7 steps to prepare your preprint for submission.

1. Choose a preprint service

PsyArXiv, SocArXiv, LawArXiv, Thesis Commons, and several others have partnered with OSF Preprints to support preprint sharing across different disiplines. You should upload your preprint to whichever preprint service best fits your topic and the community that you would like to reach. If there isn’t a community-driven preprint service for your discipline, OSF Preprints is available for any discipline.

Browse through the list of preprint services on the OSF Preprints homepage.

2. Get permission from all authors to share the preprint

Before posting a preprint, verify that you have permission from the original author and all co-author(s) to share the work. By sharing a preprint, you confirm that all authors agree with sharing it and that you have the right to share the preprint.

3. Prepare your preprint file

You should have your preprint in an easily accessible file. 

Preprints are part of the scholarly record. You should assume that your preprint will always be publicly available. Check that you’ve removed any  information from your preprint that shouldn't be shared publicly.

4. Prepare supplemental materials

If you have supplemental materials that you want to share along with your preprint -- code, protocols, surveys, data, etc.-- these files will be stored in an OSF project that will be connected to your preprint. You can add supplemental materials at any time, and they can always be removed.

5. Choose disciplines

Decide which discipline(s) best fit your preprint. It's required to add one top-level discipline, and you can get more specific by adding subdisciplines.

The disciplines and subdisciplines available will vary by preprint server. To see the disciplines offered by OSF Preprints and the community preprint servers, you can browse the subject areas on each preprint server's "Search" page. See our Search and Discover Preprints help guide for instructions.

If you don't see your discipline, you can tag your preprint with your specific subject area(s).

6. Decide how you want to license your preprint

It's important to choose the appropriate license to apply to your preprint in order to communicate how you want others to share your work. That said, it's not required to license your preprint.

The licenses available for OSF Preprints are CC-0 1.0 Universal and CC-By Attribution 4.0 International. These are open licenses. Additional licenses are available on some of the community preprint services.

Learn more about the different licenses at Creative Commons or choosealicense.com.

7. Write the abstract

Plan your abstract ahead of time, and make sure that it’s at least 20 characters long. 

You can either type your abstract or copy and paste it into the textbox during the upload process. You can’t upload an abstract as a file.

8. Determine the authorship order

Communicate with your co-authors that you want to share your article as a preprint and determine the order in which the names should appear.