In general, a preprint is considered a manuscript that has not yet been
published that is circulated to colleagues for informal review and com-
ment. The manuscript may be intended for publication, may have been
submitted for publication, or may already have been reviewed and ac-
cepted. Electronic versions of preprints are commonly referred to as
“e-prints.” Among the inherent benefits of electronic preprint distribution
are the rapid dissemination of information to a wider audience, improved
archiving of scientific data, and expedited formal publication.
While many are aware of arXiv.org, the e-print server originally cre-
ated by Paul Ginsparg of the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) to
serve the high-energy physics community (McKiernan, 2000), there is an
increasing number of e-print servers that are not as well known. In this
first Sci-5 review, five e-print servers, covering a broad range of disci-
plines, are profiled.
WHAT? The Chemistry Preprint Server
WHEN? August 2000
Gerry McKiernan is Science and Technology Librarian and Bibliographer, Iowa
State University Library, Ames, IA (E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
[Haworth indexing entry note]: “E-Print Servers.” McKiernan, Gerry. Published in Science & Technol-
ogy Libraries (The Haworth Information Press, an imprint of The Haworth Press, Inc.) Vol. 20, No. 2/3,
2001, pp. 149-158. Single or multiple copies of this article are available for a fee from The Haworth Document
Delivery Service [1-800-HAWORTH, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (EST). E-mail address:
* * *
WHY? The Chemistry Preprint Server (CPS) is a freely available and
permanent Web archive intended for rapid distribution of quality scien-
tific research results in all fields of chemistry, from biochemistry to
computational chemistry. Any registered author can submit a contribu-
tion to CPS, which may include completed manuscripts or works-in-prog-
ress. In addition, abstracts from relevant conference proceedings can be
submitted, as can detailed reports. As of July 23, 2001, there were 270
e-prints available for review, browsing, and discussion.
HOW? To access CPS, an individual must register as a member of
ChemWeb.com, “the World Wide Club for the Chemical Commu-
nity” that combines publishing, communications, and information
technologies to access research data. In creating CPS, ChemWeb.com
has been guided by the Open Archives Initiative standards (OAI) for
e-print archives (www.openarchives.org).
Although authors are requested to use a standard format to structure
contributions wherever possible, these may be in a variety of word pro-
cessor file formats. All submissions are converted to the Portable Docu-
ment Format (PDF) for reader access. Contributors can also submit
supplementary files (e.g., Microsoft PowerPoint presentations or Microsoft
Excel worksheets) with their manuscripts.
Every item in CPS is assigned a unique identifier that is used to form
a permanent citation reference. The format of this citation reference is
“CPS: category/YYMMNNNN,” where ‘category’ is one of several
established standard subject categories (e.g., Analytical Chemistry,
Biochemistry, Chemical Engineering, etc.), and ‘YYMMNNNN’ is
a standard format for the date and item record number within a cate-
gory for a specific year and month.
CPS offers browsing by category, as well as basic and advanced
search features. Readers may participate in a discussion forum for each
contribution, or rank its value based on a five-star scale. In addition to
standard browsing or searching, users can browse listings of the ‘most
viewed,’ the ‘most discussed,’ the ‘highest ranked,’ or the ‘most re-
cent’ contributions. Users can create individual profiles and receive
email notification of new additions to a particular classification, a
discussion forum thread, or items that match a keyword profile.
In general, all contributions to CPS remain the property of the author(s).
Metadata (bibliographic reference, submission date, paper title, author list,
contact information, abstract and discussion) for a preprint remains acces-
sible in the CPS archive, even after formal publication of a preprint.
WHO? CPS is sponsored by ChemWeb, Inc. Founder members of the
CPS advisory board include respected scholars and researchers affiliated
150 ELECTRONIC RESOURCES AND SERVICES IN SCI-TECH
with academic, commercial, and research institutions, organizations, and
publications. Among them are Dr. Steve Bachrach, Editor-in-Chief,
Internet Journal of Chemistry; Professor Ray Dessy, Professor Emeritus,
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University; and Dr. Bill Milne,
Editor, Journal of Chemical Information and Computer Science.
WHAT? Clinical Medicine & Health Research NetPrints
WHEN? December 1999
WHY? Clinical Medicine & Health Research NetPrints (ClinMed
NetPrints) is a “repository of non-peer reviewed original research” in
clinical medicine and health. Submissions can be made “before, during,
or after formal peer review.” As of July 21, 2001 there were 45 e-prints in
the ClinMed NetPrints collection.
WARNING: “Articles posted on this site have not yet been accepted for
publication by a peer reviewed journal . . . [and] are presented . . . mainly
for the benefit of fellow researchers. Casual readers should not act on
their findings, and journalists should be wary of reporting them.”
HOW? Readers of Clinical Medicine & Health Research NetPrints
may search, browse by date, or browse the archive by broad or narrow top-
ics (‘Subject Collections’). Users have the option of searching by author
name(s), or by free text keywords in the title and abstract fields, or the item
full text (‘Word(s) Anywhere in Article’). Readers may browse contribu-
tions mounted within the last 1, 3, 5, 7, 10, 14, 21, 30, or 90 days. Within a
date listing, readers may select only items of interest and display these se-
lections as a concatenated list of citations followed by associated abstracts.
The archive may also be browsed using a hyperlinked outline of topic
areas originally developed for the electronic version of the British Medi-
cal Journal (BMJ) (see Table 1).
For each topic, the number of items indexed is noted to the right of the
category (e.g., ‘Accident and Emergency Medicine (2)’). In selecting a
topic, the most recent addition assigned to the topic is listed, followed by
entries for ‘past content.’ For each entry, the title, author(s), and ClinMed
NetPrints identifier (e.g., ‘clinmed/2000070006’) are provided. Separate
links are provided to an abstract and the full-text for the item in HTML
format. In addition to relevant bibliographic data, the topic page includes
a hyperlinked outline of ClinMed NetPrints collections related to the one
* * *
displayed as well as links to relevant sections of related external elec-
tronic resources (e.g., ‘eBNF (drug formulary)’ (British National Formu-
lary), Journals (e.g., ‘BJA: International Journal of Anaesthesia’), medical
review services (e.g., ‘Cochrane Reviews’) and the ‘BMJ Bookshop’).
In selecting either the abstract or full-text option, readers are provided
with a listing of major and subordinate collections to which an article has
been assigned and are offered an opportunity to respond to the article,
search for similar articles in ClinMed NetPrints, or execute a Medline da-
tabase search by the name(s) of an article’s author(s). These options are
hotlinked to their respective resources.
ClinMed NetPrints offers two free e-mail alerting services. While the
New Content @lerts service allows registered users to be notified of new
content, the CiteTrack @lerts service provides notification of additions
that match criteria based on topics, authors, or articles.
WHO? ClinMed NetPrints is a collaboration between the BMJ Pub-
lishing Group (www.bmjpg.com/) and High Wire Press of Stanford Uni-
versity Libraries (http://highwire.stanford.edu/). Staff: Kamran Abbasi
(Site Editor), Bill Witscher (Project Manager), Mike Friedman (Site De-
veloper) and Harv Galic (Site Developer).
WHAT? CogPrints: Cognitive Sciences E-Print Server
WHEN? June 1998 [?]
152 ELECTRONIC RESOURCES AND SERVICES IN SCI-TECH
TABLE 1. Section of the Subject Collections Outline
Accident and Emergency Medicine (2)
Other Anaesthesia (2)
* * *
WHY? CogPrints is an electronic archive for contributions in any area of
Psychology, Neuroscience, and Linguistics. In addition, many aspects of
the following disciplines are within its scope:
• Computer Science (e.g., artificial intelligence, robotics, vision,
learning, speech, neural networks),
• Philosophy (e.g., mind, language, knowledge, science, logic),
• Biology (e.g., ethology, behavioral ecology, sociobiology, behav-
ioral genetics, evolutionary theory),
• Medicine (e.g., psychiatry, neurology, human genetics, imaging),
• Anthropology (e.g., primatology, cognitive ethnology, archeology,
as well as other aspects of the physical, social and mathematical sciences
relevant to the study of cognition. Several hundred contributions were
available as of July 2001.
HOW? CogPrints has been implemented using the eprints.org software
that creates e-print archives compliant with the Open Archives protocol
for metadata harvesting (OAI 1.0) (http://www.openarchives.org/).
CogPrints may be browsed by top level and subordinate categories (e.g.,
Neuroscience: Brain Imaging, Computational Neuroscience, Neural
Modelling, Neurolinguistics, Neuropsychology). For each subordinate
category, the number of e-prints currently assigned to the category is pro-
vided (e.g., ‘Neural Modelling (60)’).
The archive offers two broad types of searching, ‘Simple’ and ‘Ad-
vanced.’ In a ‘Simple’ search, users can search by title, abstract, or key-
word (assigned categorical terms or phrases) concurrently; by author;
and/or by publication title. A search may be limited by a Boolean function
or by publication year(s). Results may be displayed in order by the first au-
thor’s last name, alphabetically by title, or in chronological (‘by year (old-
est first)’) or reverse chronological (‘by year (most recent first)’) order.
Within the ‘Advanced’ search, the user can separately search by title,
author, abstract, or keywords, each with the same Boolean functions of-
fered in a ‘Simple’ search. In addition, a search may be limited to one or
more ‘Subject Categories’ by selecting from a drop-down menu. Users
can also limit a search by type of publication (e.g., ‘Book Chapter,’ ‘Con-
ference Paper,’ ‘Preprint,’ ‘Thesis,’ etc.) and/or conference title, author
departmental affiliation, editor name(s), or institution. Searches can be
limited to items that are ‘Unpublished,’ ‘In Press’ or ‘Published’ and/or
to those that are refereed or non-refereed, as well as by publication
year(s). As with the ‘Simple’ search, ‘Advanced’ searches can be limited
by a Boolean function, where applicable and identical display options are
In addition to ‘Simple’ and ‘Advanced’ searching, users may also
search CogPrints by a record identification code (‘EPrint ID Code’) (e.g.,
Overall, access to CogPrints is unrestricted. However, to submit a con-
tribution, authors must formally register. Readers who wish to receive au-
tomatic e-mail notification of additions that match a profile must register
and formally subscribe to the service.
WHO? Dr. Stevan Harnad (email@example.com), Professor of
Cognitive Science in the Department of Electronics and Computer Sci-
ence, Multimedia Research Group at the University of Southampton, is
the founder and director of CogPrints. The current System Architect and
Administrator is Robert Tansley, a research student in the Department of
Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southampton,
who is responsible for the current design and implementation of the
The CogPrints project is funded by the Joint Information Systems
Committee (JISC) of the Higher Education Funding Councils, as part of
its Electronic Libraries (eLib) Programme.
WHAT? Mathematics Preprint Server
WHEN? July 2001
WHY? The Mathematics Preprint Server was established to advance
scholarly communication in the fields of pure and applied mathematics,
and statistics and probability. Its objectives are to:
• provide an active communication channel to facilitate rapid prog-
ress in the field
• catalyze and stimulate research activities
• advance the cause of mathematical achievement.
As of July 23, 2001, there were more than 230 e-prints available for re-
view, browsing, and discussion.
HOW? The Open Archive Initiative (OAI) protocols for e-print archives
(http://www.openarchives.org) were used to establish the Mathematics
Preprint Server. As an OAI-approved data provider, metadata from the
154 ELECTRONIC RESOURCES AND SERVICES IN SCI-TECH
* * *
Mathematics Preprint Server can be harvested to enable wider access to
Titles, authors, and abstracts can be searched using a general ‘Search’
option. An ‘Advanced Search’ offers an opportunity to limit a query to
one of several fields (i.e., author, title, abstract, affiliation, discussions,
classification, MSC [Mathematics Subject Classification] and/or by up-
load date). E-print full text is also searchable.
Readers may also browse the entire collection by date of publication
(default), by the first author surname, by discussion ranking (see below),
reader rating (‘Rank’) (see below), or by the number of viewings (‘View’).
By selecting entries with a drop down hierarchical menu, each display may
be further limited to a broad or subordinate Mathematical Subject Classifi-
cation (MSC) category (e.g., Pure Mathematics: Algebra and Number
Theory, Analysis, Discrete Mathematics and Combinatorics, Geometry
and Topology, Logic).
In selecting an entry from any available listing, a record providing the
principal author’s name, his or her current or former affiliation, his or her
e-mail address, the names, affiliations and e-mail addresses of other au-
thors, the upload date, an e-print identifier (‘Reference’) (e.g., ‘MPS: Ap-
plied Mathematics/0107051’), and a brief abstract is displayed. The record
provides a link to the full-text of the contribution as a PDF file. In addition,
the record may link to a variety of supplementary files associated with a
contribution (e.g., multimedia), as well as to a discussion threads contrib-
uted by previous readers. Current readers can contribute to a discussion,
rate the usefulness of the current document based on a five-star scale, or
recommend the document to colleagues. The latter function provides a
pop-up window that enables a reader to easily e-mail a colleague the au-
thor, title, and Web address of a document under review.
Readers can subscribe to an e-mail alerting service to receive auto-
mated notification of new additions to the collection. In the future, read-
ers will be able to limit alerts to specific subject categories.
WHO? Elsevier Science is the host for the Mathematics Preprint Server.
It makes no claims on the material posted on the server and use of the ser-
vice is not restricted to current or prospective Elsevier authors.
Members of the Advisory Board include Professor Claude Brezinski,
Laboratoire d’Analyse Numérique et d’Optimisation, Université des Sci-
ences et Technologies de Lille, France; Professor Jürgen Halin, Institut
für Energietechnik, ETH (Swiss Institute of Technology), Switzerland;
Professor Ieke Moerdijk, University of Utrecht, Mathematical Institute,
The Netherlands; Professor C. R. Rao, Pennsylvania State University,
Department of Statistics, USA; and Professor Charles. A. Weibel, Math-
ematical Department, Rutgers University, USA.
WHAT? PrePRINT Network
WHEN? January 2000
WHY? The PrePRINT Network is a searchable gateway to preprint serv-
ers whose coverage is within the scope of interest of the U.S. Department
of Energy (DOE). Physics, materials, and chemistry, as well as biology,
environmental sciences and nuclear medicine, are among the broad disci-
plines included. Access is provided to hundreds of thousands of docu-
ments in a variety of file formats from several hundred relevant
institutional and individual sites.
The PrePRINT Network complements PubSCIENCE, a search inter-
face to the journal literature in the physical sciences and energy-related dis-
ciplines, and Information Bridge, an electronic collection of technical
reports and other grey literature, each developed by the Office of Scientific
and Technical Information (OSTI) of the U.S. Department of Energy
In addition to access to its core service, the PrePRINT Network also
offers access to a listing of scientific societies and associations whose fo-
cus relates to the research and development initiatives of DOE. In addi-
tion, access to a list of relevant Japanese societies and associations is
HOW? In the PrePRINT Network, users may search or browse a specific
preprint site, a select set of sites, or all incorporated sites. There are two
major search options: ‘Search All Sites’ and ‘Search Selected Sites.’ The
former allows users to search the surface Web pages linked to the
PrePRINT Network, while the latter enables users to search within a se-
lect group of e-print sites (e.g., Networked Computer Science Technical
Reference Library (NCSTRL), Los Alamos National Laboratory e-print
collections, Max-Planck Institute Preprints) using a common interface.
The ‘Browse’ option allows users to view an alphabetical listing of all
incorporated preprint sites and to access and search each individually.
The ‘Subject Pathways’ option allows users to browse select collections
of e-print resources by broad subject areas (e.g., Biology and Medicine,
Chemistry, Computer Technologies and Information Sciences, Fossil
156 ELECTRONIC RESOURCES AND SERVICES IN SCI-TECH
* * *
Fuels, Geosciences, Materials Science, and Renewable Energy) and to
access and search these categorized sites.
Through its PrePRINT Alert service, registered users can create and
save search statements to receive automatic e-mail notification of new
content matching search requirements.
The PrePRINT Network Search has two component search engines:
Webinator and Distributed Explorit. Webinator is “a Web walking and
indexing package that provides a high-quality retrieval interface to col-
lections of HTML documents,” while Distributed Explorit is “a system
that provides a common user interface for searching and retrieving infor-
mation across heterogeneous datasets over the Internet.”
WHO? The PrePRINT Network was developed by the U.S. Department
of Energy (DOE), Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI).
Numerous academic institutions, government research laboratories,
scientific societies, private research organizations, and individual scien-
tists and researchers provide the resources incorporated within the
PrePRINT Network. The PrePRINT Network system does not alter the
content or data provided by the originating site or author.
Members of the science and technology community are invited to nomi-
nate quality science and technology Web sites and resources for potential
review in Sci-5. Of greatest interest are sites with uncommon but useful
content, and those with innovative features and functionalities. Nomina-
tions should be sent to Gerry McKiernan (firstname.lastname@example.org).
CogPrints Project Details. ELib Programme project description. UKOLN, University of
Bath [http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/services/elib/projects/cogprints/] 16 July 2001.
Delamothe, Tony; Richard Smith; Michael A Keller; John Sack; and Bill Witscher, Edi-
torial: Netprints: The Next Phase in the Evolution of Biomedical Publishing, British
Medical Journal 319 no. 7224 (December 11, 1999): 1515-1516. Also available at:
http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/319/7224/1515 [17 July 2001].
Kolman, Michiel. “www.mathpreprints.com,” Posting to SLAPAM-L, July 6 2001, avail-
able at: http://listserv.nd.edu/cgi-bin/wa?A2=ind0107&L=pamnet&F=&S=&P=2127
[19 July 2001].
McKiernan, Gerry. 2000. “arXiv.org: The Los Alamos National Laboratory E-Print
Server,” International Journal on Grey Literature 1, no. 3: 127-138.
PrePRINT Network is a ‘Scout Report Selection.’ Scout Report, 6 no. 37 (February 4,
2000), available at: http://scout.cs.wisc.edu/report/sr/2000/scout-000204.html#2 [20
Warr, Wendy A. “A Report on the Presentation ‘Chemistry Preprint Server: A Revolu-
tion in Chemistry Communication’ Given at the Spring 2001 National ACS Meeting
(CINF Division) in San Diego, USA” [by James R. Weeks, and Bryan A. Vickery on
April 1, 2001]. Available at: http://www.chemweb.com/docs/cps/cps.pdf [17 July
158 ELECTRONIC RESOURCES AND SERVICES IN SCI-TECH