The last few years have seen an explosive growth in the use of preprints and associated preprint servers by large sections of the scientific community. This ISC Occasional Paper addresses the history of the preprint, its advantages and potential disadvantages, and concludes with some recommendations for how the growing acceptance of preprint posting should be handled within academia, and the changes in cultural norms that this entails.
It is part of a series of publications from the International Science Council as part of the Future of Scientific Publishing project, exploring the role of publishing in the scientific enterprise, and asking how the scholarly publishing system can maximize benefit to global science and to wider audiences for scientific research. Previous publications include the Occasional papers ‘Business Models and Market Structure within the Scholarly Communications Sector and Strengthening research integrity: The role and responsibilities of publishing and the report ‘Opening the record of science: making scholarly publishing work for science in the digital era‘.
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