It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Open Access: Finding and Accessing Open Access Resources: Repositories and Preprints
A guide on how to find and access Open Access resources.
Subject repositories are Open Access repositories for research outputs within a specific discipline or subject area. Preprints are "research reports that have not yet been peer reviewed and accepted for publication in a scientific journal." (Tijdink et al., 2020). Preprint servers enable authors to publish these earlier versions of their research outputs and, like subject repositories, are also often grouped by discipline or subject area.
How Can I Find Subject and Institutional Repositories?
Search via OpenDOAR (Directory of Open Access repositories). OpenDOAR is a ‘quality-assured, global directory of Open Access repositories.’ You can search and browse using a range of different criteria, including content type or country.
Strathprints is the University’s institutional repository. It is a ‘digital open archive of University of Strathclyde research outputs’. Most universities in the UK and many around the world have their own institutional repository.
Preprints are research reports that have not yet been peer reviewed and accepted for publication in a scientific journal.
Many authors choose to publish their research outputs on preprint servers, as they facilitate rapid publication and wide dissemination (Barczynska, P., 2020). Publishing preprints also enables authors to establish the priority of their work within the scientific record.
The Covid-19 pandemic has prompted a massive increase in researchers publishing their work via preprint servers and usage of these servers has also increased very significantly. Publishing work via preprint servers has enabled academics to disseminate research about Covid-19 much more quickly than would have been possible via traditional publication routes (Taraboreli, 2020). Many research funders, such as the Wellcome Trust, encourage researchers to post their work to preprint servers (Wellcome Trust, n.d.)
Preprint servers can improve the rapid dissemination of research and foster collaborations between researchers
However, there are concerns about the way in which preprint articles can potentially lead to the spreading of ‘bad science’ as the articles have not undergone peer review. Readers need to be aware that these articles have not undergone the same rigorous peer review process as conventional journal articles. There are concerns that speed of publication is being prioritised over the quality and reliability of evidence (Burke, 2021).
Misinformation disseminated via preprints can misinform policy makers (Tijdink et al., 2020)
However, Around 70% of preprints are eventually published in peer reviewed scientific journals (Tijdink et al., 2020)
bioRxiv is an open access preprint repository for the biological sciences co-founded by John Inglis and Richard Sever in November 2013. It is hosted by the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. As preprints, papers hosted on bioRxiv are not peer-reviewed, but undergo basic screening and checked against plagiarism.
ChemRxiv is an open access preprint archive for chemistry. It is operated by the American Chemical Society, Royal Society of Chemistry and German Chemical Society. The new preprint server was announced already in 2016, but was only opened online in 2017.
EarthArXiv is both a preprint server and a volunteer community devoted to open scholarly communication. As a preprint server, EarthArXiv publishes articles from all subdomains of Earth Science and related domains of planetary science.
SocArXiv is an online paper server for the social sciences founded by sociologist Philip N. Cohen in partnership with the non-profit Center for Open Science. It is an open archive based on the ArXiv preprint server model used for hard sciences, mathematics, and computer science.
The SSRN, formerly known as Social Science Research Network, is a repository for preprints devoted to the rapid dissemination of scholarly research in the social sciences and humanities and more. Elsevier bought SSRN from Social Science Electronic Publishing Inc. in May 2016.
de Castro, P. and Sakata, S. (2021) ‘Pre-prints: a more affordable and quicker way to share research results.’ Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences (SIPBS) seminar, 24 February 2021. Available at: https://strathprints.strath.ac.uk/75514/ (Accessed 10 May 2021)