Preprints and STM publishing: A New Challenge to the Editors of Scientific and Medical Journals

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A PubMed search conducted on the 5th of July, 2018, reveals 111 articles for the word ‘preprint’. How exactly does one define a preprint? Preprints are online postings of scientific reports in a publicly accessible online venue, hosted by not for profit preprint servers or repositories such as or, allowing authors to self-archive papers pre-peer review and before official publication in a journal. Preprint content has not undergone prior independent scientific evaluation. Preprint servers offer a relatively new service within the context of opportunities offered by our interconnected, digitised publishing environment. Through facilitating the rapid dissemination of innovative STM research, preprint servers and repositories allow researchers and physicians to bring medical research to the light of day and to a wide audience, given that preprint content can be shared without being subject to any publication delays. Preprints have gained popularity with eminent investigators and scientists, and in a recent publication the editors of Circulation announced their willingness to allow preprints to be cited in works during an initial submission to the journal. I have expressed my concerns in a letter to the editors of Circulation,1 who have kindly responded offering their arguments in favour of preprints.2 I believe that reproduction of the two articles creates the environment for furthering a very much needed discussion on the potential merits and dangers of this new and burgeoning trend within STM publishing.

Demosthenes G Katritsis
Editor-in-Chief, Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology Review
Hygeia Hospital, Athens, Greece


  1. Katritsis DG. Preprints and cardiovascular science: prescient or premature? Circulation. 2018;137:1641–1642.
  2. Nallamothu BK, Hill JA. Response by Nallamothu and Hill to Letter by Katritsis in response to ‘Preprints and cardiovascular science: prescient or premature?’ Circulation. 2018;137:1643–1644. April 10, 2018.
  3. Nallamothu BK, Hill JA. Preprints and cardiovascular science: prescient or premature? Circulation. 2017;136:1177–1179.