NIH Preprint Pilot

Recently you might have noticed a different article type showing up in the results of your PubMed searches—preprints. A preprint:

“…is a scholarly manuscript posted by the author(s) in an openly accessible platform, usually before or in parallel with the peer review process.” (Committee on Publication Ethics)

In June 2020 the National Library of Medicine (NLM) launched a pilot project to test the viability of making preprints resulting from NIH-funded research available via PubMed Central (PMC). Following standard NLM practice, a citation for each preprint record in PMC is also made available in PubMed to further increase the discoverability of this content.

The first phase of the pilot focuses on identifying preprints reporting on COVID-19 research. The second phase expands across all NIH-supported research areas. For a preprint to be added to PMC, it must

  • clearly indicate NIH support, either as an NIH award or via an NIH author affiliation;
  • be posted to a preprint server that is included in the pilot (e.g., medRxiv, bioRxiv, ArXiv); and
  • have a Creative Commons license that allows for full-text archiving in PMC.

To limit your PubMed search to only preprints, click on “Additional filters” then select “Preprint” under article type.

To be clear, NLM is NOT building a preprint server for NIH awardees nor a comprehensive preprint search engine. Other options available for preprint discovery include:

For any questions or guidance pertaining to preprints, please Ask a Librarian.

~Melissa Ratajeski