Skip main navigation

Manuscript Versions and Where to Publish them

Jessika Rücknagel explains in this article the different versions of a manuscript as preprint, postprint or published version of record.
Typical publishing workflow for an academic journal article
© This work by Jessika Rücknagel is licensed under CC BY 4.0.

As previously mentioned, versions of your work are differentiated within the open access discussion.

The version you submitted within the publication process to a journal is the version you created prior to any review. It is called a preprint or original draft version. Depending on your discipline it may be an established practice to self-archive the preprint on an institutional or disciplinary repository. This practice ensures the quickest possible sharing of research results with the scholarly community, which can be discussed on this basis. Very prominent is arXiv[ (arXiv [Online] 2022), a disciplinary repository for fields of physics, mathematics and computer science which is also an early pioneer in the green open access field due to its foundation in 1991. Disciplinary repositories now exist for many academic fields. Still before you share your preprint, make sure that it is according to your publisher’s policy so that you will not have any trouble publishing the final version with the venue of your choice.

After the acceptance of your work through the publisher, your work is called a postprint or accepted manuscript, respectively author-accepted manuscript (in short AAM). This is the content that gets published by the publishing venue but without any editing. For most green open access this will be the version of importance to you, because most publishers’ open access and self-archiving policies refer to this version. Make sure that you keep your accepted manuscript safe in order to publish it in a repository after the embargo period.

The final published version or the version of record is still a postprint. Of course the final version is peer reviewed as well as further edited and formatted by the publishing venue. In some cases you can upload the version of record to a repository, e.g. in the context of “Alliance licences and national licences” (DFG 2022) from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation, DFG). A publication with a Creative Commons licence can also be published as a version of record in a repository.
Most academic institutions operate an institutional repository for their researchers. Additionally you may find a repository in the OpenDOAR (JISC. 2005) directory, which evaluates all repositories before adding them to their list.

© This work by Jessika Rücknagel is licensed under CC BY 4.0.
This article is from the free online

Openness in Science and Innovation

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now