Preprints (the pre-review manuscript that is submitted to a journal, or any earlier draft) aim to improve the openness and accessibility of scientific findings, enhance collaboration among researchers and document provenance of ideas. They can inform ongoing and planned research through improved openness and accessibility of scientific findings.

Importantly, they allow the timely sharing of completed research within the academic community. By posting preprints, authors are able to make their findings immediately available to the health sciences community and receive feedback on draft manuscripts before they are submitted to journals for formal publication.

Note: Preprints are preliminary reports of work that have not been peer reviewed. They should therefore not be used to guide clinical practice, health-related behavior or health policy. They should not be reported in the media as established information.


  • BMJ fully supports and encourages the archiving of preprints in any recognised, not-for-profit, preprint server, such as arXiv, bio- or medRxiv.
  • The BMJ and BMJ journals do not consider the deposition of preprints in dedicated preprint repositories to be prior publication.
  • BMJ places no restrictions on the licence chosen when posting a preprint version of work (eg authors may choose CC BY or CC BY NC), but authors must retain copyright of their work when posting to a preprint server. Authors must include a link/DOI to the preprint version of your manuscript when submitting to a BMJ journal.
  • BMJ does not recommend that Author Accepted Manuscripts are placed on preprint servers. BMJ produces the Version of Record very quickly after manuscripts are accepted and so we encourage authors to post or link to the VOR, where appropriate. This helps to ensure the validity and integrity of the scientific record as readers are alerted to further versions, corrections, or retractions through technology contained in the Version of Record.
  • Where preprints are updated by Author Accepted Manuscripts we request they are placed under a CC BY NC ND licence.
  • Upon publication of your article by a BMJ journal, please add the following text to your preprint:

                                                 “This article has been published in [insert full citation] following peer review and can also be viewed on the journal’s website at [insert DOI].

      NB: Many preprint servers, including medRxiv, will automatically add a link to the published version.

For more information on where you can deposit versions of your manuscript, please see our self-archiving policy.