Showcasing your research: From preprint to published

The first entry in Community Experience’s series on getting the most out of your ResearchGate experience explored some ways to optimize your profile to get the best results. Read our blog post to find out more.

In this post, we’re talking about early-stage research and the potential benefits of sharing preprints on ResearchGate.

In an accelerating world, scientific progress and technological innovation are moving forward faster than ever. As science advances, each step along the way informs the progress that succeeds it. Keeping up with the advancements in your field can be a challenge, if a rewarding one. Applying the latest data and methods to your research can help keep it relevant and up to date.

Long time-to-publish periods can not only limit the availability of your research, but can also affect the impact that your research can have in its field. Preprints can get your research out faster — so that researchers working on similar topics around the world can learn from it, build on it, and cite it.

Science moves fast. ResearchGate aims to make it easy to stay on top of developments in your field so that you can produce cutting-edge results.
ResearchGate member, Karin Purshouse, shares her thoughts on the value of preprints in the fight against COVID-19. Read Karin’s Researcher Story here.

The role of preprints

In this new world of science, early dissemination in the form of preprints can remove barriers to access while fueling collaboration. Posting your preprint on ResearchGate can increase the visibility of your work, giving other researchers in your field valuable information while creating potential collaboration or funding opportunities.

While preprints are often just one step along the way to getting your work published, we believe that there is value at every stage of research — from negative results to published papers. Knowing what worked, what didn’t, and how an article evolved can lead to major insights.

How to create a publication page for your preprint

If you’re not yet a member of ResearchGate, you can sign up here to create a profile and start showcasing your work. In some cases, there may already be a publication page on ResearchGate relating to your work. If not, here’s how to create one yourself:

1. Add your preprint.

To get started, click ‘Add new’ at the top of any ResearchGate page and select ‘Preprint’ from the sidebar.

2. Choose your privacy settings.

Choose whether to upload the full-text publicly or privately. Always remember to fully investigate and confirm that you have sufficient rights to publicly or privately share particular content on ResearchGate before doing so.

Some publishers allow authors to share copies of their preprints without restrictions, while others allow it with limitations. Because publishers and journals differ on what they allow, you should always check your licensing agreement or publisher conditions before you share any of your work. Also, if you’re planning to publish in a journal, check the publisher’s policies to confirm they’ll accept your draft after it’s already been made publicly available. Check out the Copyright section of our Help Center for more information on sharing your work on ResearchGate.

3. Upload the preprint.

After selecting your file and agreeing to our upload conditions, click ‘Upload’ to proceed to filling out your preprint’s details.

4. Link to an existing publication page or create a new publication page.

If a ResearchGate publication page for the published version of your research already exists, you can link it to its corresponding preprint. Your preprint will then display a link to the published version of your work.

If your preprint doesn’t have a DOI yet, and you choose to add a public full-text, you’ll have the option to generate a ResearchGate DOI — a unique identifier for a specific version of a research item. DOIs help you get credit for your research and build your reputation by creating a record of your research, making it easier for others to cite your work.

Since DOIs refer to a specific version of a research item, it’s not possible to edit a publication page with a ResearchGate DOI. We consider each version of a research work to be a separate research item, and we encourage members to create new publication pages for additional versions.

Once your work has been published, you can link your preprint to the published version by visiting your profile’s Research tab and selecting ‘Add published version’ below the relevant preprint.

When your preprint gets published

Publishing research is a milestone in any researcher’s career. Our Community Experience team often hears from newly published researchers who want to update their “Preprint” publication page to an “Article.” As we consider these to be separate research items, we encourage members to not replace a preprint publication page with a final article page, but rather to link the two pages together. The published article publication page would then be linked to — and accessible from — your preprint publication page.