Discover Preprints with the Newly Updated search.bioPreprint

Now in its third iteration, search.bioPreprint is a search tool developed by HSLS that provides a simple way to identify cutting edge, yet-to-be published biomedical research published in a preprint format. Preprints play a role in catalyzing scientific discovery, facilitating career advancement, and improving the culture of communication within the life sciences community (ASAPbio). They are preliminary reports of work not yet certified by peer review. They are preliminary reports of work not yet certified by peer review. Preprints are not intended to guide clinical practice or health-related behavior and should not be reported in news media as established information.

Preprints were formerly only discoverable by directly searching specific preprint server websites, as they are not typically indexed. Preprint servers are 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” (About bioRxiv). Preprints are not copy-edited 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.

Two examples of biomedical preprint servers are:

  • bioRxiv, the preprint server for biology covering new, confirmatory, or contradictory results in research on topics such as  animal behavior,  cognition, clinical trials, neuroscience and zoology; and
  • medRxiv, a free online archive and distribution server for complete but unpublished manuscripts in the medical, clinical, and related health sciences.

search.bioPreprint capitalizes on the Europe PMC platform by adding the functionality of search refinement via Topic Clusters. publication (most recent listed first; maximum of 1000; 25 per page). Resources include: AAS Open Res, bioRxiv, ChemRxiv, F1000Res, Gates Open Res, HRB Open Res, medRxiv, MNI Open Res, PeerJ Preprints,, Research Square, and Wellcome Open Res.

The figure below shows the results of a search for COVID-19. Results include a link to the article, abstract, date of posting, authors, and preprint server/source. The Topic Clusters, to the left of the results, are a unique feature of search.bioPreprint. This example has 994 results that may be filtered according to a sub-category of the original search, e.g., Anxiety, Mental (67 preprints) or Healthcare workers (31 preprints). The remix button re-clusters all of the results into new topic categories.

Topic Clusters are listed to the left of the search results

Please contact us with any comments or questions about seach.bioPreprint, or preprints in general. Read about the new NIH Preprint Pilot, also in the August 2020 issue of the HSLS Update.

~Carrie Iwema