Skip to Main Content

Open access publishing

This guide introduces open access, its benefits, the different models, APCs, policies and resources, and OA @ RMIT University.

What are preprints?

A preprint is a version of a scholarly research output that has not yet been through peer-review and publication in a scholarly journal.

Preprints have been most notably part of the research landscape in the field of physics for some decades.  Increasingly, researchers in the biological sciences have moved towards offering preprints, a trend that has rapidly accelerated with the urgent need to release scientific findings in response to the 2019 novel coronavirus. 

There are now preprint platforms for virtually all disciplines, including the humanities and social sciences.

Why and when to release preprints


Preprints Peer-reviewed articles

Rapid communication of new research

The publication can take from months to a year from submission

Announce a new discovery and establish your priority Work may be rejected if considered of low significance for the journal, or if the author is not established, even if the study quality is high
Potential for quick feedback from a large group of scholars, improving scientific rigour Anonymous review and resubmission process meets rigorous standards
Policies regarding screening, correction, or withdrawal of research found to be lacking Quality journals have clear editorial policies
Fully open access Often behind a paywall


Steps to preprinting

  1. Double check journal policies on when and where preprints may be posted. 
  2. Choose a preprint server. Consider visibility, funder recommendations, and features like preservation and indexing.
  3. Choose a licence.
  4. Get all authors on board with preprinting. Refer to the resources in the ASAPBio Preprint Info Center (including these FAQ) to address any unanswered questions. 
  5. Upload any code/data/reagents you want to share to appropriate repositories.
  6. Post the preprint!
  7. Invite feedback via social media or email.

"Preprint FAQ" by ASAPbio is licensed under CC BY 4.0

Find a preprint server

Further reading