The use of preprints, manuscripts that can be uploaded to a public server and made almost immediately available for public dissemination without peer review, is becoming increasingly common.1 Preprint servers are not typically associated with established peer-reviewed journals and often operate independently. Proponents of preprints point toward improved rapid dissemination of results and opportunities for crowdsourced feedback before submission to peer-reviewed journals.1 Conversely, inconsistent upload criteria among preprint servers (such as lack of guidance for reporting conflict of interest or image manipulation),1 and the risk for widespread discourse of non-peer reviewed results by news media may impinge on research integrity.2 As members of the public may not understand the difference between preprints and traditionally peer-reviewed articles, preprints have the potential to cause widespread confusion and mistrust.2 Use of preprints may also make publication of results in traditional journals more difficult, as the results may be perceived to be less novel. Despite controversy, the number of preprints continue to rise.3 There is limited understanding of how dermatology journals view and consider preprints. In this study, we explore dermatology journal policies toward the submission of preprint articles for publication, and corresponding publication outcomes of dermatology articles previously uploaded to a large clinically oriented preprint server.
J L Jia, V J Hua, D E Mills, K Y Sarin