search.bioPreprint: Immediate Discovery of New Biomedical Research

HSLS has developed a new tool, search.bioPreprint, that helps researchers to comprehensively search preprint databases to discover cutting edge, yet-to-be published or reviewed biomedical research articles.

What is a preprint database?

  • Open access online distribution centers/archives that enable authors “to make their findings immediately available to the scientific community and receive feedback on draft manuscripts before they are submitted to journals” (bioRxiv). Articles are not copyedited or peer-reviewed prior to posting online, although they undergo a basic screening process to check against plagiarism, offensiveness, and non-scientific content. Authors may make revisions at any point prior to publication, but all versions remain available online.


  • arXiv is a preprint server covering physics, mathematics, computer science, nonlinear sciences, statistics, and quantitative biology since 1991.
  • bioRxiv covers new, confirmatory, and contradictory results in research ranging from animal behavior and cognition to clinical trials, and neuroscience to zoology.
  • F1000Research provides a platform for the immediate publication of scientific communication. Posters and slides receive a digital object identifier and are instantly citable. Articles that pass peer review are then indexed in Scopus and Google Scholar. Articles are available in PMC and therefore searchable in PubMed.
  • PeerJ Preprints cover biological, medical, and computer sciences. Their aim is to reduce publishing costs while still efficiently publishing innovative research.

Why preprints?

  • There is a developing movement of preprint supporters who want the current journal publication and peer review system to change. They propose that preprints play a role in “catalyzing scientific discovery, facilitating career advancement, and improving the culture of communication within the biology community (ASAPbio).”

Why create a preprints search tool?

  • Until the creation of search.bioPreprint, there has been no simple way to identify biomedical research published in a preprint format, as they are not typically indexed and are only discoverable by directly searching the aforementioned preprint server Web sites. search.bioPreprint is a one-stop-shop for finding these types of articles, and an important contribution to the preprint movement.

For more information, please contact the MolBio Information Services Department.

~Carrie Iwema