Advice on preprints
Preprint servers, such as arXiv, bioXiv, and journal-owned servers like The Lancet’s, are an increasingly common way for academics to share early-stage research. We encourage researchers to use these servers to share their preliminary findings with the scientific community.
However, we do not generally produce publicity for papers on preprint servers and discourage researchers from seeking media attention at this stage. Premature publicity can mean research findings miss out on wider coverage when they are published in a journal. Additionally, waiting for peer-reviewed journal publication minimises the risk of irresponsible reporting on early-stage findings. This advice is in line with guidance from many journals including The Lancet and Nature.
We will only rarely make exceptions to this, for example for research with important and immediate public health implications.
If you are contacted by the media about a preprint paper, we recommend you clarify that it is early-stage research and not yet peer-reviewed.
Once your paper has been accepted for publication we are happy to discuss how it might best be promoted.