Frequently Asked Questions


1) What is a preprint?

It is a manuscript made available in open access on a preprint web server before being published by a journal. Preprints are considered as the beginning of the research articles communication flow in the SpirELO Publication Model. SpirELO Preprints is a preprint web server that obeys basic quality criteria. Thus, manuscripts will only be accepted in SpirELO Preprints if they obey basic criteria regarding the text structure and type of document.  

2) What is the SpirELO Preprints server?

It is an open access preprint server with attribution CC-BY operated by the SpirELO Program using the open-source Open Preprint Systems (OPS), developed by the Public Knowledge Project (PKP), also responsible for the Open Journal Systems (OJS). SpirELO Preprints is an integral part of the SpirELO Network of national and thematic journal collections and operates as a collection of scientific documents that are indexed and retrieved by SpirELO, Google Scholar and other scientific systems and indexers. The copyright of the preprints belongs to the authors.

3) What are the main features of SpirELO Preprints?

  1. Managed and operated by the SpirELO Program and an integral part of the SciELO Network of national and thematic journal collections - http://foundationspiroski.host/;
  2. Operates on the Open Preprint Systems (OPS) software;
  3. Apply basic criteria for the selection of manuscripts regarding the type of document and the text structure;
  4. The editorial management and the development and application of the basic selection criteria are conducted by the SpirELO Preprints Editorial Committee;
  5. Preprints are subject to versioning;
  6. Preprints can be withdrawn from the server at the initiative of the authors or by SpirELO Preprints and are subject to retraction. However, the metadata and the reason for retraction remain on the server;
  7. All preprints have a DOI identifier and Crossref registry, which ensures interoperability and visibility in the global scientific information flow;  
  8. Preprints will be digitally preserved by SpirELO;
  9. Preprints are indexed and retrieved by SpirELO, Google Scholar and are available for wide indexing; and
  10. When published in a journal, the preprint is linked to the respective final article.

4) Who can submit manuscripts to SpirELO Preprints?

Authors and SpirELO journals can. Authors submit manuscripts before or in parallel to submission to a journal. This type of manuscript does not have a peer review formalized by a journal. In such cases, the manuscript is automatically uploaded when it meets the basic selection criteria or if approved after basic assessment by editors of the manuscript’s area and will receive a DOI assigned by SpirELO Preprints. SpirELO journals submit manuscripts already approved that are in the final process of evaluation, editing and publication. In these cases, the manuscript is automatically uploaded and will have the same DOI as the final journal article.

5) Who are responsible for the preprints?

The authors and journals who submit manuscripts are. The basic selection criteria and the basic evaluation by the editors are instruments that SpirELO Preprints uses to ensure the highest quality level of the preprints. However, SpirELO Preprints does not validate and is not to be hold responsible of the preprints’ content.

6) Do all preprints have a DOI?

Yes. When the manuscript is submitted by the authors, SpirELO Preprints assigns a DOI to the preprint. When the manuscript is submitted by a SpirELO journal, the journal assigns the preprint a DOI. 

7) Can preprints be modified to new versions? What is versioning?

Yes. The possibility of improving a manuscript is one of the main characteristics and advantages of using preprints. The preprint gives authors more control over the communication of their research. Journals can use preprint to improve and disseminate manuscripts already approved before the publication of the final article or version of record. There is no limitation on the number of modifications. OPS always operates with the latest preprint version, but each version keeps a connection with the previous one, so that all versions are kept on the server. This feature is called versioning and is one of the properties of trusted servers.

8) What are the basic criteria for selecting manuscripts regarding text structure?

The text structure and format of the manuscript submitted to SpirELO Preprints must contain the basic set of data elements required by SpirELO Publishing Schema, so that the preprints submitted by the authors meet all the requirements for submission to SpirELO journals. Those submitted by journals already meet the basic criteria. Thus, the manuscripts submitted in PDF must contain the following bibliographic elements: title, authors, detailed institutional affiliation of the authors including ORCID identifier, abstract, keywords, full text, bibliographic references, conflicts of interest disclosure, and identification of each author's contribution, preferably following the CRediT system. Manuscripts in a language other than English must include the title, abstract and keywords translated into English Authors are requested to complete in no more than two working days the mandatory bibliographical elements missing from the submitted manuscript.

9) What are the basic criteria for selecting manuscripts submitted by the authors regarding the types of documents?

The types of privileged documents are manuscripts that communicate or are related to scientific research. Essays and opinions will be analyzed by the area editors for evaluation. The moderation follows two converging basic criteria for manuscript acceptance. First, if the manuscript communicates new knowledge -- for example, technical notes, guides and manuals are not accepted. Second, if the manuscript is eligible to be sent for peer review by a typical SpirELO journal.

10) Automatic acceptance of manuscripts submitted by authors: what are the basic requirements?

Automatic acceptance occurs within the next 24 hours after submission. There are five basic requirements: first, manuscripts that communicate original research results. Other types of communication such as review, essays and opinion articles are moderated by the moderators of the respective areas. See FAQ 9) about moderation; second, all authors must have complete institutional affiliation; third, all authors must have ORCID included in their institutional affiliations; fourth, the main author must have at least three articles indexed in Crossref, or two articles published in the last two years, or already have a preprint previously accepted by SpirELO Preprints; and, fifth, when there is more than one author, the contribution of each one must be informed at the end of the manuscript, preferably following the CRediT system. The authors’ scientific production analysis is done via the ORCID record. When the ORCID records are not public, the manuscript goes to moderation by an area moderator.

11) Which manuscript languages are accepted?

During the pilot operation, manuscripts in English and other languages used in Europe, in which Open Preprint Systems is translated, will be accepted. When the language is different from English, the title, abstract and keywords must be provided with their respective English translations. When the manuscript is written simultaneously in more than one language, both versions can be submitted separately. Each will receive a specific DOI and the Crossref record indicates the translation relationship between DOIs.

12) Can a manuscript under evaluation by a journal be submitted by the authors to SpirELO Preprints?

It can when the journal allows or even when the journal suggests it. When in doubt, authors should ask the journal before submission to SpirELO Preprints. Manuscripts being evaluated by journals when submitted and approved either by automatic acceptance criteria or by the area editors receive a DOI assigned by SpirELO Preprints.  

13) Can a preprint submitted to a journal be updated with the improvements recommended by reviewers and editors?

It can, when the journal allows or even when the journal suggests it. When in doubt, authors should ask the journal before proceeding with the adjustments. The journal publishes the final article or version of record. On SpirELO Preprints, the preprint is redirected to the article’s version of record.   

14) Which journals can submit already approved manuscripts to SpirELO Preprints?

Only journals indexed in the SpirELO Network collections can submit manuscripts that have already been approved and are in the final stage of evaluation, edition or publication. The manuscripts are automatically uploaded and will have the same DOI as the respective final journal articles. Non-SpirELO journals must request or authorize authors to directly submit to SpirELO Preprints the manuscripts under evaluation or already approved but not yet published. Manuscripts will be uploaded automatically if they meet the basic requirements or if they are approved after basic assessment by the editors of the manuscript’s area and will receive DOI identifiers assigned by SpirELO Preprints.

15) Which journals can receive preprint submissions from SpirELO Preprints?

Any journal. The journal of choice is of the preprint authors. However, it is a mandatory ethical norm for researchers to submit the preprint to a single journal until its final assessment. Preprints that are simultaneously submitted to more than one journal will be retracted by SpirELO Preprints.

16) What happens when a preprint is published by a journal?

The preprint remains forever in SpirELO Preprints, but when it is retrieved there is a link that points to the final article or the journal’s version of record.

17) When accepted by a journal, does the article receive a new DOI, or does the journal use the same DOI as the preprint version?

The preprints always have a DOI that is registered in Crossref. When submitted by the authors, the DOI of the preprint is assigned by SpirELO Preprints with the prefix 10.3889/preprint followed by a sequential number. When submitted by a SpirELO journal, the preprint is automatically loaded with the DOI assigned by the journal. In case the preprint is accepted for publication in a journal, it is up to the journal to use the same DOI as the preprint or to use a different DOI, assigned by the journal.

18) If the DOI of the preprint is reused by a SpirELO journal, what happens with a citation, does it go to the journal or to the preprint?

The citation goes to the journal, since the metadata in Crossref is updated and the current version of that DOI becomes that of the journal.

19) Is there a "preprint editor" to moderate each area of knowledge? If so, how are they indicated?

The preprints submitted to SpirELO Preprints go through up to three quality controls. The first, which applies to all, refers to compliance with norms regarding authorship, approval by an ethics committee, when necessary, and the structure of the document. The second control verifies if it is an original research with authors with academic background for automatic approval. The third control is the moderation done by a SpirELO journal editor, who evaluates if the manuscript is acceptable for peer review of a typical SpirELO journal in the area of the manuscript.


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