Preprints are defined as "a version of a scholarly or scientific paper that precedes publication in a peer-reviewed scholarly or scientific journal." (Wikipedia).
JMIR Preprints are mostly submitted author manuscripts currently in review at JMIR journals, and (to a lesser degree) directly deposited author manuscripts not (yet) under consideration at a JMIR journal.
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?).
The JMIR Preprint server at http://preprints.jmir.org/ contains unreviewed manuscripts, awaiting community review (open peer-review, see also What is open peer-review?), including (but not limited to) papers 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
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 preprint as follows (for the time being, file a ticket with email@example.com if you wish to change the default behavior):
- 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?