A preprint is an academic or scientific article that has been published online without going through the peer-review process. In contrast, a postprint is an article that has already gone through all the peer review processes and changes. Online platforms where preprints are being published are mainly known as preprint servers making them publicly accessible. Some examples of preprint servers are arXiv, bioRxiv, ChemRxiv, etc. This practice of publishing preprint has been growing significantly since the mid-2000s and recently surged due to Covid-19.
According to many researchers, the surge in preprint publication was more of a help to people during the Covid times, especially in knowing more about the coronavirus and vaccine preparation.
Many scholars and researchers fear that preprint publication will interrupt the traditional publishing practice, i.e., the article going through the peer-review process. Some also think that preprints are not high-quality articles as they can be full of misinformation for not being checked by peer reviewers. And it is not a good thing for the readers to have access to it.
But one significant disadvantage of the whole peer-review process is that the process takes a lot of time, which can be a minimum of 2-4 weeks to 3 months. Scholars nowadays are tired of waiting their turn and are eager to publish their preprints in journals without going through the peer review procedure in order to make them available to as many people as feasible as quickly as possible. Nowadays, more and more journals are allowing the publication of preprints to their sites. Researchers are also acknowledging the fact that preprint publication has sped up the process of research dissemination. This leads to the primary concern of what measures should be taken to check the quality of preprints that are being published.
What some journals are doing right now is letting the publishers register DOIs for the preprints and then linking it afterward to their published articles that have gone through the peer-review process. This way, the preprints are available permanently. Some publishers have also added one more step to the manuscript submission process: adding the link to their published preprint.
As we see here, the article explains how the role of preprints has taken a drastic change after the pandemic rather in a much better way. And this change has been in favor of scholars and researchers all over the world.