Preprints have long circulated in some disciplines. As the science publication and rewards systems evolve to permit greater use of preprints, the number of discipline-specific preprint services continues to increase.
The two best-established ones are:
- https://arxiv.org/ (physics including particularly astrophysics and high-energy physics; mathematics; computer science)
- http://biorxiv.org/ (biology)
(The X is a Chi, incidentally. This is a kind of physics humour.)
Two more are in the process of being established:
In terms of publisher-based preprint services, Nature had one called Nature Precedings which is now closed.
PeerJ has PeerJ Preprints.
There are also a bunch of services hosted by the Open Science Framework:
- socarxiv https://osf.io/preprints/socarxiv/
- engrxiv https://osf.io/preprints/engrxiv/
- psyarxiv https://osf.io/preprints/psyarxiv/
- agriXiv https://osf.io/preprints/agrixiv
Obviously if this continues we will get to a point where we need meta-preprint services to combine all of the preprint services.
Funding sources and supporters are quite diverse. It's not clear to me that there are enough funders currently in place to sustainably fund a proliferation of preprint servers. It's also not really clear to me what ASAPbio will cover that bioRxiv doesn't cover already.
arXiv is a Cornell University Library initiative with membership and private finding. (See arXiv - Business and Governance Information and Cornell University Library - New sponsorship model broadens arXiv membership.)
bioRxiv is a Cold Springs Harbour Library initiative with private funding. (See bioRxiv - Preprint server bioRxiv receives additional major funding.)
chemRxiv is an American Chemical Society (ACS) initiative.
ASAPbio is an initiative with a mix of public support and private funding. (See ASAPbio - Nature - Heavyweight funders back central site for life-sciences preprints.) Funders supporting ASAPbio's principles include the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR).
Wellcome Trust will accept preprints in grant applications.
HHMI recognizes preprints "as evidence of productivity and will accept them for purposes such as laboratory head reviews."
Most, but not all publishers will now accept manuscripts that have previously been posted online as preprints.
Please feel free to comment, particularly if there are important preprint servers I have missed or nuances of funding I haven't covered.