Preprints are defined as "a version of a scholarly or scientific paper that precedes publication in a peer-reviewed scholarly or scientific journal." (Wikipedia).
At JMIR Publications, most JMIR Preprints are submitted manuscripts currently under review at a JMIR Publications journal, although JMIR Preprints also functions as a more traditional preprint server in that it also allows authors to directly deposit unpublished, unreviewed work that is not (yet) under consideration at a journal.
A preprint cannot be unpublished, updated or corrected. However, authors can opt in to also display the accepted manuscript version, and we also always link to the final published version (Version of Record), even if not published in a JMIR journal.
Once a manuscript is accepted by a JMIR Publications journal, the accepted (reviewed) manuscript can (depending on the Preprint settings controlled by the author) also appear on the preprints landing page alongside the original submission. The preprint and accepted versions of a manuscript each receive a distinct DOI and are citable. The DOI of the accepted manuscript is identical with the DOI of the final published paper (Version of Record).
Although the author may opt during submission to restrict availability of the PDF form of their preprint or accepted manuscript, once published as a preprint or accepted into a JMIR Publications journal, the metadata (title, abstract, and author line) remains visible to the public.
Upon acceptance, authors may choose to participate in JMIR Publications' PubMed Now! service, in which the metadata of their accepted manuscript is submitted to Pubmed (see What is the "PubMed Now!" ("ahead-of-print") option when I pay the APF?).
Each manuscript submitted to a JMIR journal has a preprint landing page (https://preprints.jmir.org/preprint/xxxxx, where xxxxx is the manuscript number) which has one tab for the submitted manuscript, and another tab for the accepted manuscript (if it has been accepted). The preprint landing page also has a yellow box which links to the Version of Record of the manuscript, if it has been published (in a JMIR Publications journal or elsewhere).
Example of a preprint landing page (the yellow box with the link to the VoR only shows up when the final paper is published in any journal which uses CrossRef):
The NIH, UK MRC and other organizations and societies encourage investigators to use interim research products, such as preprints, to speed the dissemination and enhance the rigor of their work. For example, since April 2017 the MRC is explicitly encouraging the inclusion of preprints in publication lists for grant and fellowship proposals (MRC Application Guidelines). This means that JMIR authors do not necessarily have to wait for an editorial decision after submitting to JMIR in order to cite a manuscript - they can now cite submitted preprints immediately after submission by simply opting into the JMIR open peer-review as this automatically generates a citable preprint (see also What is open peer-review?), or accepted manuscripts which have already the final DOI.
The JMIR Preprint server at http://preprints.jmir.org/ contains unreviewed manuscripts, some of which may be awaiting community review (open peer-review, see also What is open peer-review?), or are currently under review in JMIR journals or partner journals. The reviews themselves are currently not open, i.e. only the editor can see the reviews (at a later stage we may give authors control over what other users can see).
To peer-review one of these manuscripts, simply login and click the "peer-review me" link. You can access the papers free of charge and all you need is a free user account at JMIR, but for accountability reasons we currently only allow signed-in users to download the full preprint (How do I create a user account and profile at JMIR?).
There are two submission pathways for manuscripts to appear in JMIR Preprints:
1) a submission to a JMIR or partner journal, where the author has checked the "open peer-review" checkbox (see also What is open peer-review?)
2) Direct submissions to the preprint server.
For the latter, there is no editor assigning peer-reviewers, so authors are encouraged to nominate as many reviewers as possible, and set the setting to "open peer-review". Nominated peer-reviewers should be arms-length. It will also help to tweet about your submission or posting it on your homepage. For pathway 2, once a sufficient number of reviews has been received (and they are reasonably positive), the manuscript and peer-review reports may be transferred to a partner journal (e.g. JMIR, i-JMR, JMIR Res Protoc, or other journals from participating publishers), whose editor may offer formal publication if the peer-review reports are addressed. The submission fee for that partner journal (if any) will be waived, and transfer of the peer-review reports may mean that the paper does not have to be re-reviewed. Authors will receive a notification when the manuscript has enough reviewers, and at that time can decide if they want to pursue publication in a partner journal. For pathway 2, if authors do not wish to have the preprint considered in a partner journal (or a specific journal), this should be noted in the cover letter. Also, note if you want to have the paper only considered/forwarded to specific journals, e.g. JMIR, PLOS, PEERJ, BMJ Open, Nature Communications etc), please specify this in the cover letter. Manuscripts can be in any format. However, an abstract is required in all cases. We highly recommend to have the references in JMIR format (include a PMID) as then our system will automatically assign reviewers based on the references.
Attention journal managers at other publishers: If you manage a potential non-JMIR partner journal which may offer publication of already peer-reviewed articles, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Eysenbach G. Peer-Review 2.0: Welcome to JMIR Preprints, an Open Peer-Review Marketplace for Scholarly Manuscripts. JMIR Prepr 2015;1(1):e1. URL: http://preprints.jmir.org/2015/1/e1
- Eysenbach G. "The impact of preprint servers and electronic publishing on biomedical research". Curr Opin Immunol. 2000 Oct;12(5):499–503
- Eysenbach G. "Challenges and changing roles for medical journals in the cyberspace age: Electronic pre-prints and e-papers". J Med Internet Res 1999;1(2):e9
- Till J. Peer Review in a Post-Eprints World: A Proposal. J Med Internet Res 2000;2(3):e14
When authors submit preprints or articles to JMIR Publications, they grant JMIR Publications an exclusive license to internally and externally distribute it for peer-review purposes.
Authors retain the copyright.
Submitted papers and Preprints are not licensed under a Creative Commons license until they are formally published in a JMIR journals.
Submitted papers and Preprints are privileged documents and redistribution (for example on other preprint servers or sites such as researchgate) is strictly prohibited (unless initiated by the authors themselves).
Why? Because on the JMIR preprint server we automatically add a link to the published Version of Record once the VoR is published (in JMIR or in other journals), and this is not guaranteed when the preprint is on other preprint servers, and users may continue to cite the preprint version instead of the Version-of-record. Furthermore, depending on the author settings, we automatically restrict access to the prerprint after acceptance or rejection/withdrawals, according to authors' wishes. If preprints are redistributed, authors and publisher lose control over which version is used and referenced, and whether preprints should remain accessible after peer-review.
New since June 2017:
JMIR Preprints can now be cited better as they will receive DOIs immediately after submission and the DOI (Crossref) handle will link to a landing page. The landing page contains title, author information and abstract, and will link either to a peer-review form or to the final paper if it has been published. The author controls who can download the preprint and whether it should still be available after publication of the final version. For details see Do JMIR Preprints get a DOI? What happens if the final version (Version of Record VOR) is published?
New since September 2017:
Authors can now control who has access to the preprints, see How do I change my preprint settings or availability of preprints?
Note that the actual reviewer comments (even if submitted from "open peer-reviewer") are currently not made public.
- What is open peer-review?
- Latest Submissions Open for Peer Review (Preprints)
- How can I become a peer-reviewer and what are the qualifications required?
- Where/how do I submit my paper to a JMIR journal?
- Karma Credits - What are they and how to collect them?
- How do I know if my paper has been reviewed?
- What does the peer-review process at JMIR journals look like?
- I am an author - where can I find the past reviewer comments?
- Do JMIR Preprints get a DOI? What happens if the final version (Version of Record VOR) is published?
- How do I change my preprint settings or availability of preprints?
- Can I submit a paper to you that has previously published on a different Preprint server (such as arXiv) other than JMIR Preprints?
- My submission was rejected/withdrawn from JMIR but is still on your Preprint server. Can you please remove it so I can submit it somewhere else?