Introducing PsyArXiv: a preprint service for psychological science

PsyArXiv, a preprint service for psychology, is up and running! It was created by the Society for the Improvement of Psychological Science (SIPS) and the Center for Open Science (COS).


PsyArXiv is an interactive digital repository for papers on psychological science, serving two primary functions.

First, PsyArXiv serves as an open-access archive for psychological publications of all sorts. This means that researchers and the public can access publications which might otherwise be protected by a paywall. Simply uploading manuscripts of already-published papers (in accordance with journal policy, most of which allow for sharing author-formatted manuscripts) increases the availability of scientific publications. In addition, PsyArXiv provides an outlet for articles which might never otherwise be published, due to null findings.

Second, PsyArXiv is expected to be especially useful as a preprint server. Preprints are manuscripts as they exist prior to formal publication in a journal. Sharing preprints on PsyArXiv can result in feedback from others in the field, resulting in improvements, and the preprint can then be updated to reflect the revisions. This is a sort of peer review prior to actual journal submission. Posting prior to publication can also establish a precedent of a theory, design, method, or finding. Each preprint uploaded is assigned a unique DOI, with associated date and time stamps. Given the average length of the peer review and journal publishing process, uploading to PsyArXiv can firmly establish your claim over your work, to avoid getting “scooped.”


The current PsyArXiv interface onto the underlying Open Science Framework (OSF) datastore is temporary. The full interface is under development, but PsyArXiv already provides a searchable database of preprints, with free hosting of manuscripts in perpetuity (ensured by a digital preservation fund). It is also easy to integrate a preprint with other supplementary materials through the OSF, providing open access to data, materials, etc.

When PsyArXiv is updated, uploading and updating manuscripts will be even easier, with a DOI assigned upon upload. PsyArXiv will also allow commenting on preprints, with community moderation tools to ensure that comments are productive and helpful. Stay tuned for further updates! We are excited about the development of these useful features and more.

Questions and Information

For more information about why to use preprints, on how to post your own preprints to PsyArXiv, and more, be sure to check out our FAQ. If you have any other questions, you can email us at, or ask us questions on Facebook or Twitter.


We would like to thank arXiv for the licensed use of their name. We would also like to thank the Center for Open Science for their hand in creating and integrating the PsyArXiv with the OSF and the new, upcoming preprint services in related fields.

arXiv is a trademark of Cornell University, used under license. This license should not be understood to indicate endorsement of content on PsyArXiv by Cornell University or arXiv.

PsyArXiv Frequently Asked Questions

Update 2024-05-22: Expanded FAQ is now here please update your bookmarks.

What is a preprint?

A preprint is a draft of a scholarly manuscript made available to the public prior to publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

Why post a preprint?

Making one’s work available as a preprint has several advantages. First, it rapidly disseminates the findings of your research (it takes just minutes to upload a paper to PsyArXiv). Second, you can receive feedback rapidly and prior to submission to a peer-reviewed journal. This improves the overall quality of scholarship. Third, preprints submitted to PsyArXiv are available to anyone with Internet access; this allows scholars, citizens, and businesses without journal subscriptions or access to academic libraries (including, importantly, those in developing nations) to access a version of scientific publications at no charge. Finally, preprints add transparency to the scientific process by allowing access to different (i.e., pre-review, pre-editorial) versions of a manuscript.

Why upload to this particular archive?

PsyArXiv is the premiere preprint archive for the psychological sciences, and it is run by a community organization – the Society for the Improvement in Psychology Science.  The technology is provided by the Center for Open Science, a non-profit that many psychologists are already using to share their data and other materials. New features are coming, such as commenting, that we hope will promote a rich dialogue about cutting-edge psychological research.

How do I submit a manuscript to PsyArXiv?

Simply visit and click on “Add a preprint.” The site will walk you through a five-step process of uploading a new preprint or adding a preprint directly from the Open Science Framework.

When uploading a preprint to PsyArXiv, you will be asked to state whether or not there is any associated dataset is available, whether the work was preregistered, and if there are any conflicts of interest that you would like to declare.

How do journals deal with preprints?

Journals differ in terms of how they deal with the posting of preprints. Prior to uploading a manuscript to PsyArXiv, you should review the policies of any journal you are considering as an outlet (SHERPA/RoMEO is a database containing the policies of most journals). Usually, preprints that do not include changes made as a part of the journal editorial and reviewing process may be made available through PsyArXiv. In some cases journals allow edited versions of a paper accepted for publication to be made available on a preprint server; however, the publisher’s version (i.e., that which includes formatting, layout, etc.) will likely remain the property of the journal (and thus not available for posting to PsyArXiv), except in the case of open-access journals. Authors can also negotiate for permission to post their preprints using tools such as the SPARC Author Addendum.

What were the motivations for creating PsyArXiv?

PsyArXiv was founded in order to speed and improve psychological science. It was established to increase access to scientific findings and papers. Certainly all of us within academia, and a great number of the lay public, have encountered obstacles (paywalls, combing through overlapping search engines, etc.) in gaining access to articles. Such obstacles relegate access to some of the highest quality research to a privileged few. An insular, rigidly hierarchical science is a sick science.

The current journal publishing system heavily emphasizes novel, positive, unexpected results. Studies which fail to meet this threshold are often left in the proverbial “file drawer.” Yet not disseminating null results is detrimental to the quality and caliber of published work as well as to the advancement of scientific knowledge. Preprint servers enable scientists to clear their “file drawer” in the same way they might have had such studies been accepted for publication. This informs researchers about boundary conditions and reduces the repetition of failures across many labs which, at present, simply go unrecognized. Such failures end up draining public funds and waste valuable time.

Preprint servers also serves the aim of improving science by seeking to increase the quality of published work. The peer review process at most journals solicits feedback from two or three academics; in contrast, a preprint service offers the opportunity to provide and receive feedback from a broader range of academics, and can encourage feedback on the structure, presentation of analyses, and readability of a paper, in addition to the theoretical and/or empirical claims in the paper. This additional feedback can greatly improve the quality of work that is eventually published.

Why now?

Over the last several years, researchers, funders, and governments have increasingly recognized the need for more transparent and open science, both in the process of conducting studies and in that of disseminating results. More emphasis is being placed on attempting to replicate studies; individuals are encouraged or required to post their data and materials; analytic and methodological transparency, including reporting of null findings, has been strongly encouraged; and there has been increased recognition of the problems posed by the file drawer. All of these changes have culminated in an understanding that the current processes by which studies are discovered and, at times, disseminated stand in direct opposition to many of the aspirational goals of open science.

Is this service a replacement for journals?

PsyArXiv is not intended to replace journals. A preprint service is primarily intended to offer access to manuscripts before publication. However, in fields like physics and computer science, the popular preprint service (from which the PsyArXiv name comes) has become an integral part of the publication process. Posting one’s manuscript to arXiv greatly increases discoverability, meaning that one’s work is more likely to be seen, discussed, and cited. For science in the age of the Internet, the role of journals may become largely a way to collate research into relevant categories based on topic, discipline, or geography. However, formal peer review is an integral part of science, and journals play a critical role in facilitating this function.