Frequently Asked Questions

What is a preprint?

A preprint is a version of a scientific paper that is shared publicly before it has been peer reviewed. The preprint version is typically not edited or typeset and is posted in the format that it was submitted.

In most cases, the same work posted as a preprint is subsequently submitted for peer review to a journal. Thus, preprints (rapid, but not checked by peer review) and journal publication (slower, but providing validation through peer review) work in parallel as a communication system for scientific research. Preprints allow scientists to directly control the dissemination of their work to the world-wide scientific community. To date, more than 2 million preprints have been posted to non-commercial preprint servers such as arXiv.

What happens if my manuscript is rejected by the Beilstein Journals?

Today the vast majority of publishers (and almost all reputable journals) accept submissions that appear on non-commercial preprint servers like the Beilstein Archives. With the exception of a few medical journals, submission to another journal should be possible, but please consult the guidelines of each journal to confirm their policy on preprints. Wikipedia provides an overview of publishers/journals and their preprint policy or you can refer to the dedicated publisher copyright/archiving policy database SHERPA/ROMEO

Why should I post a preprint (my article will be open access when published in the Beilstein Journals)?

It's free; it's fast; it's easy; it allows you to share your ideas with peers and gain feedback while the peer review process is going on; it allows you to claim your work and discuss it openly at conferences; you might get more impact-relevant citations to your final published article; it could help early career researchers show evidence of productivity and accomplishment – A preprint provides funding agencies and promotion and hiring committees with public evidence of your most recent accomplishments, which is pertinent for time-critical decision making.

Won't my ideas be "stolen" if I post a preprint before publication in a peer-reviewed journal?

Actually, quite the contrary. With a publically documented version of your work, you can stake claim with a conclusive record that clearly establishes priority. With the data and results posted publicly with a DOI, it becomes a permanent part of the scholarly record. You can then share your documented ideas in conference talks, posters and on social media.

Why post a preprint in the Beilstein Archives instead of on other preprint servers?

Similar to arXiv for physicists or bioRxiv for biologists, the Beilstein Archives is the first preprint server specifically for rapid documentation of research in the fields organic chemistry and nanotechnology.

The Beilstein Archives is managed by the Beilstein-Institut – a long-standing, reputable, non-profit institute with a trusted name, and we are dedicated to the betterment of scholarly communication, not profit. With us, you are ensured your work remains on a non-commercial platform with your best interests in mind. We also intend to develop additional useful features in the near future according to community interest (Have an idea? Please get in touch.).

Some exceptional features of the Beilstein Archives include: precise, predictable search; preprints are well-indexed and findable; DOI registered with CrossRef; preprint is linked to the final published version; CC BY 4.0 license – you retain copyright to your work; no limit to the number of supporting information files; all preprints will be archived (Portico); submission in Word or LaTeX format possible; easy browsing with topical categories displayed on all pages.

Can I withdraw my preprint from the Beilstein Archives later?

The retraction or removal of a preprint will be considered only in cases where legal or copyright infringement or other considerable scientific misconduct or offensive behavior has been raised. This is a standard policy for most preprint servers.

I've already posted a preprint on another preprint server or repository. Can I also post another preprint in the Beilstein Archives?

No. If you have previously posted a version of this submission to a repository, preprint server or archive, you cannot post to the Beilstein Archives. However, please be sure to include this information in the Manuscript Details page during submission and we will link your final publication to the preprint version.

I've already posted a preprint version of this work on another preprint server or repository. Can I still submit to the Beilstein Journals?

Yes. Manuscripts that have been posted on other non-commercial preprint servers (e.g., arXiv, bioRxiv) or the author’s university repository will be considered for publication in the Beilstein Journals. Work that has been previously published or is under consideration for publication in another journal will not be considered. Please choose “no” for the option to publish a preprint in the Beilstein Archives and please include a link or DOI for the published preprint in the Manuscript Details page during submission and we will link your final publication to the preprint version.

I'm worried that the posted version will be very different from the final publication. Is this a problem?

Generally, no. Your final publication will be clearly linked to the preprint with a note that the reader should refer to this version. Most readers are aware that preprints may be draft versions of a manuscript, which might contain some errors, or report on information that has not yet been accepted or reviewed by the scientific community. This is indicated clearly on the preprint page.

Who owns copyright of the posted preprint?

You (and your co-authors)! Like all publications of the Beilstein-Institut, the authors retain copyright of their work with a CC BY 4.0 license.

Can I choose later to post this manuscript as a preprint in the Beilstein Archives?

If you contact us at before we assign the manuscript to the handling editor (usually within a few days) we can reverse this decision for you. After this step, it is no longer possible.

What checks will my preprint undergo before being posted?

All preprints undergo a basic screening process for offensive and/or non-scientific content and are checked for plagiarism and scope. We will only correct technical errors that prohibit us from posting it to the website, so please ensure that the title, authors and contact information, as well as the content of the manuscript are correct in the PDF and in the Beilstein Publishing System before agreeing to post a preprint.

What types of information can I post to the Beilstein Archives?

We are currently only publishing preprints (which includes the main manuscript and related documents, information and files, i.e., supporting information) that are submitted with the intention of publishing a full research paper or letter in one of the Beilstein Journals. Given community interest, we would consider extending this service in the future to the documentation and archival of other forms of scientific output (code, individual data sets, posters, presentations, movies, spectra, images, etc.).

Can I update the preprint version after revision?

Generally, no, but we intend to offer the option to upload a revised version in the future. Under certain cases we may decide to manually publish a new version. Please contact us if you have concerns.

My Beilstein Archives preprint was published as a peer-reviewed article; how can I update this information on the preprint website?

When your article is published in the Beilstein Journals, your preprint will be a linked to your final publication with a note that the reader should refer to the final peer-reviewed version. If your article was published elsewhere, please let us know and we will update your preprint accordingly.

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