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Elevating your Online Profile as a Researcher

This guide is designed to highlight the various tools and services which you can use to be more visible as a researcher in the online environment.

Repositories and Preprint Servers

What is a preprint server?

A preprint server is an Open Access, online platform or database where researchers post early versions of scholarly manuscripts to share with the research community to gain early feedback prior to submission to a publication or publisher. Preprint servers are publicly accessible and free to access.

There are many advantages of preprint servers and the research community saw an explosion of preprint dissemination during the early stages of the C-19 pandemic. Preprints are an invaluable method of communication and encourage prompt dissemination of outcomes, contribute to the free flow of information, increase chances of early feedback and comments and the number of citations a piece of work receives. Chances of academic collaborations are also heightened via preprint servers. Crucially, they increase exposure and transparency, the promotion of early career researchers, and can help to provide early credit. They are also an excellent place to detect misconduct in the research process. The most well known preprint server is possibly arXiv. However, there are many other well established preprint servers out there including, medRxiv, bioRxiv, OSF Preprints and many more! 

Preprint servers helped to pave the way for institutional repositories (IR). At the university of Derby, the IR is  UDORA, the University of Derby Online Research Archive

Most higher education and research institutions, globally, will have a dedicated institutional repository which acts as a showcase for the output of their staff and researchers. The global Directory of Open Access Repositories, OpenDOAR, is the authoritative and quality assured database which is free to access online.