Preliminary version of an article that has not undergone peer review but that may be shared for comment.
A manuscript draft that has not yet been subject to formal peer review, distributed to receive early feedback on research from peers. The article at this stage is solely the creation of the author, and the layout is set out by the author. Pre-prints may be considered as grey literature.
One usage of the term pre-print is to describe the first draft of the article, before peer-review, even before any contact with a publisher. This use is common with academics for whom the key modification of an article is the peer-review process, and is how the term is defined here.
Another use of the term pre-print is for the finished article, reviewed and amended, ready and accepted for publication – but separate from the version that is type-set or formatted by the publisher. This use is more common with publishers, for whom the final and significant stage of modification to an article is the arrangement of the material for putting to print.
Synonyms: Author’s Original (NISO)