Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is a preprint server?
A preprint server is used by scholars to circulate new work. A preprint is
an early version of new work often in preliminary form. The archive is
intended to supplement or replace an older mechanism for circulation of new
work. An author used to prepare multiple copies of a new manuscript
and mail it to scholars for their information and for response. Greater
circulation can be achieved by posting on the archive at no cost to the author.
Individual scholars can then be alerted efficiently to the preprint by informing them in a brief
email of the preprint's unique ID code. Alternatively, scholars may subscribe to receive regular email updates of postings to the archive in areas of the philosophy of science of interest to them.
May I submit an incomplete paper or paper sketch?
While submitted work may be preliminary, it is expected that material
posted forms a complete paper with all sections present, the language
carefully edited and all footnotes, references, figures and other
supporting material in place.
How does the archive differ from a journal?
A journal publishes material that has passed scrutiny by referees and has
been edited by the editorial staff to bring it to the journal standards.
The archive does not referee postings and does not edit them. The archive
merely filters minimally to assure relevance to philosophy of science.
May we submit material to the archive that has appeared elsewhere?
The archive does not require or expect that material has not appeared
elsewhere. However, if it has appeared elsewhere, the author must determine
whether copyright was transferred from the author and whether the copyright
agreement allows posting on the archive. While we do not object to
duplication, the other source may.
Do I lose copyright privileges when I submit a document to the archive?
No. Works contributed to the archive remain fully protected by US and other copyright laws. Under US copyright law, your work is under copyright protection the moment it is created and fixed in a tangible form. Even though the copyright for your work may not be registered, you are encouraged to assert your copyright on the title page of your work. For more information, see (http://www/copyright.gov/
Will posting on the archive affect subsequent attempts to publish in a
This is a matter for the individual journals to decide. Our impression is
that these policies are in flux with the trend towards greater tolerance.
The precedent of the physicists' enormous LANL archive
) is strong. Papers posted there routinely proceed to
If I post a preprint on the archive and then publish it in a journal or
volume, can I leave the preprint on the archive?
Individual journal policies vary on this question. Whatever the policy, the
authoritative document is the copyright agreement you sign with the
publisher. If that agreement requires you to remove the posted preprint,
you should. Not all agreements require this. The current copyright
agreement used by Elsevier for the journal Studies in the History and
Philosophy of Modern Physics
reads in part:
"...Posting of a preprint version of this work on an electronic public
server is permitted. Posting of the published article on a secure network
(not accessible to the public) within the author's institution is
permitted. However, posting of the published article on an electronic
public server can only be done with Elsevier's written permission."
This is an enlightened policy that we endorse.
have announced a similar policy and explicitly encourages authors to post their pre-press articles to publicly accessible servers.
May I remove a preprint once it is posted?
Yes. Papers can be removed. Unfortunately the ePrint software does not
allow you to remove papers automatically. Removal is initiated with a
removal request, accessible through the links "Deposit Papers" -->
"Review your documents in the archive". Archive staff will then remove
the paper as quickly as possible, typically within one business day. All
requests for removal will be honored, although we encourage you to leave
preprints posted for stability of the archive's contents.
Is there any special connection between the archive and the journal
Philosophy of Science?
The archive and the journal are both sponsored by the Philosophy of Science
Association. Otherwise there is no direct connection.
How long does it take after a preprint is deposited with the archive
for the preprint to become available to the public?
Allow until the end of the next business day following the day the
deposit is made. When a preprint is deposited, it immediately gets sent to our "submission buffer" where a staff member does a quick routine
check of the preprint's suitability for PhilSci Archive. The paper is then publicly accessible via a search, though it may not appear immediately
in the "browse tree" (which is updated only twice daily, at 1pm and 1am).
Why can I not post a paper to a category in "Conferences and Volumes"?
These categories are dedicated to particular conferences and volumes. Only
contributors designated by the conference organizers or volume editors may
Can rocks think?