Preprints is a relatively new class of scientific publications that seek to expedite the publication of results and new ideas in an updatable format. Specifically, new versions of the same article could be posted when ready. Thus, the publication format provides a forum for the discussion of new ideas and data, and allows authors to gather feedback from readers.
However, should one cite a preprint article of significant quality and which helps move the scientific discourse forward given that it may be updated in future? The answer is that citation for a preprint article comes associated with a specific version of the article, which is permanently available on the preprint server and website. Specifically, even if a preprint article comes with 5 versions, pdf articles of preprint version 2 and 3 remain available on the preprint server under the article name in the subheadings of version 2 and 3 respectively. More importantly, citation for version 2 of the preprint article is not associated with version 5 of the article as a distinct version number is appended to the DOI (Digital Object Identifier) of the different versions.
Thus, one could cite a preprint article in the knowledge that the citation is for a specific version of the preprint.
Category: science communication,
Tags: preprints, citations, version number, Digital Object Identifier,