SciELO Preprints server completes two years of operation, contributing to the advancement of Open Science

By Alex Mendonça, Carolina Tanigushi and Abel L Packer

SciELO Preprints logo

The positioning of the SciELO Program as an open science program, provided for the creation of a preprints’ server, announced in 2017. In September 2018, during the SciELO 20 Years Week, the partnership between SciELO and the Public Knowledge Project (PKP) was launched with the objective of developing an open source preprints server based on the already consolidated Open Journal Systems (OJS).

The SciELO Program has offered the PKP OJS system to its journals since 2007 and after observing that the flow of a preprints server is essentially the flow of a manuscript management system without the peer review step, both SciELO and PKP concluded that they could work together on a preprints platform using the common PKP software library.

The result was the development of Open Preprint Systems (OPS), officially launched by PKP in late February 2020, and SciELO Preprints, launched on April 7, 2020, which became the first OPS server to operate regularly and the first preprint server in Latin America. The partnership with the PKP in recent years has been enriching for the SciELO Publication Model and was recently renewed, based on four principles oriented towards strengthening the open infrastructure of scholarly communication with geographic and cultural diversity: open software, low maintenance cost, multilingualism, and interoperability.

The inclusion of preprints in the scholarly communication flow brings benefits to all those involved in the process: authors gain greater control and autonomy over the communication of their research, the possibility of updating preprints in successive versions contributes to the improvement of manuscripts before their submission to a journal, reviewers and journal editors can benefit from the exposure and performance of preprints and feedback received during peer review. However, the most important thing is that the scientific community and society in general can more quickly access research results not yet peer-reviewed or peer reviewed, but in the process of being published by journals.

The submission of manuscripts to SciELO Preprints can be done by researchers from all areas of knowledge and in any language, although, until now, Portuguese, English and Spanish have prevailed. During submission, the corresponding author is guided by automatic metadata and manuscript content checks, aiming to align submissions with the editorial quality control policy of the SciELO Preprints server and with scholarly communication best practices.

After submission, the manuscript goes through up to three levels of moderation, according to the type of document submitted and the authors’ publication history on the SciELO Preprints server and in journals indexed in databases in line with SciELO policies. When the required data is provided, the preprint is posted within 48 hours. In other cases, the manuscript is sent to one of the editors in the area and it will take longer to be approved as a preprint or rejected.

On the SciELO Preprints website there is a FAQ section that provides detailed information about the conditions that the manuscript must meet to be made available as a preprint. In addition to the formal conditions that every scientific article must meet, the main criterion for evaluating manuscripts is the contribution with new knowledge on the topic of research or essay.

In these two years of operation, the SciELO Preprints server received 2,466 submissions, of which 1,594 were accepted and posted, by authors from 29 countries, of which 80% are from Brazil, followed by Peru (6%) and Ecuador (4%). More than half (63.7%) of the preprints are in Portuguese, 19.5% are in English and 16.6% are in Spanish. Regarding areas of knowledge, 61.1% are on Health and Biological Sciences, followed by Human Sciences (36.1%) and, finally, by Exact and Earth Sciences, Agrarian Sciences and Engineering (2.5 %).

SciELO Preprints presents two important advances related to the openness of the peer review process: First, the Hypothesis annotation service that allows the inclusion of comments directly to the PDF files of the preprints in a public or private way. Second, the external peer review platform, PREreview, where authors can submit their preprints and choose to request external and structured peer review, displaying them, or not, alongside their preprint on the SciELO Preprints page.

Maximizing the visibility of posted research is one of the key functions of SciELO Preprints, with preprints being indexed since the beginning in SciELO Search and Google Scholar and, since March 2022, in Europe PMC. The implementation of an OPS interaction interface with open data repositories operating with the Dataverse system is underway, which will allow SciELO Preprints interoperability with SciELO Data and other repositories.

The technologies, standards and tools that support scholarly communication have contributed to the improvement of the management and operation of preprints, aiming to facilitate the posting and dissemination in a reliable way with automated solutions and following best scholarly communication practices. However, the moderation of preprints performed by editors is critical in many cases to maintain the server’s reliability and it may delay posting.

Finally, the implementation of interoperability between OPS and OJS will facilitate, on the one hand, the submission of preprint files between SciELO Preprints and journals operating with OJS, and, on the other hand, the updating of the preprint status with the link to the published article. In other words, an important advancement in the operation of the scholarly communication flow.

Preprints have been consolidated in recent years as an integral part of the global flow of scholarly communication, especially due to the pandemic. By celebrating two years of operation, SciELO Preprints asserts itself as a reliable server that has contributed to the advancement of open science capabilities and infrastructure at the service of authors and journals.


EUROPE PMC and SCIENTIFIC ELECTRONIC LIBRARY ONLINE. SciELO Preprints discoverable in Europe PMC [online]. EuropePMC blog, 2022 [viewed 11 May 2022]. Available from:

PACKER, A.L. The SciELO publication model as an open access public policy [online]. SciELO in Perspective, 2019 [viewed 11 May 2022]. Available from:

PACKER, A.L., SANTOS, S. and MENEGHINI, R. SciELO Preprints on the way [online]. SciELO in Perspective, 2017 [viewed 11 May 2022]. Available from:

PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE PROJECT and SCIENTIFIC ELECTRONIC LIBRARY ONLINE. PKP and SciELO announce development of open source Preprint Server system [online]. SciELO in Perspective, 2018 [viewed 11 May 2022]. Available from:

PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE PROJECT. The Road to Preprints (Part 1): Introducing Open Preprint Systems [online]. PKP blog, 2020 [viewed 11 May 2022]. Available from:

VALLIÈRES, N. PKP and SciELO Announce Renewed Partnership [online]. PKP blog, 2021 [viewed 11 May 2022]. Available from:

External links

FAQ | SciELO Preprints:


Open Journal Systems | Public Knowledge Project:

Open Preprint Systems | Public Knowledge Project:


SciELO Data:

SciELO Preprints | SciELO Search:

SciELO Preprints:

Submissões | SciELO Preprints:

The Dataverse Project –


Translated from the original in Portuguese by Lilian Nassi-Calò.


Como citar este post [ISO 690/2010]:

MENDONÇA, A., TANIGUSHI, C. and PACKER, A.L. SciELO Preprints server completes two years of operation, contributing to the advancement of Open Science [online]. SciELO in Perspective, 2022 [viewed ]. Available from:


2 Thoughts on “SciELO Preprints server completes two years of operation, contributing to the advancement of Open Science

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