Q: Will uploading my manuscript as a preprint for submission to previous journals affect its publication with the present journal?

Detailed Question -

Hello. My paper has received a minor revision decision after submission, but there is a problem. I had uploaded a preprint when I had submitted the manuscript to other journals. How do I delete the preprint, or how do I respond [to this scenario]? Will it affect the publication of the paper?

1 Answer to this question

There are a few points to discuss here. So, let’s take them one by one.

Firstly, we trust that when you say you had submitted the manuscript to other journals, you had done so in sequence and not at the same time. That is, you first submitted to one journal, and once they decided not to consider it (for whatever reason), only then did you submit it to the next journal, rather than submitting to multiple journals. Because if you submitted to multiple journals together, that would be a case of simultaneous submission, which is an unethical practice, as you can read here: Duplicate publications and simultaneous submissions

Now, let’s come to the questions around the preprint. There are a couple of possible scenarios here.

One, you uploaded your initial manuscript to a preprint repository on your own. In this case, you usually need to just update the repository version with the latest version. All the same, you may check the registration/upload sections of the repository for the right procedure, as each repository may have a slightly different process.

Alternatively, the journal you submitted to may have uploaded the submission to an associated (partner) preprints repository. This is an emerging practice these days. However, again, because practices may differ across repositories, for submission to a new journal, you may need to have the uploaded manuscript removed from the repository. For more on this, you may refer to this recent similar query by another researcher: What should I do if the same submission to a new journal is rejected because the information was not updated in the associated preprint system of the previous journal?

Hope that helps. As your manuscript is presently a minor revision (whether after a major revision or directly so), it stands a good chance of being accepted. So, all the best for that!

For more on preprints, you may find the following articles interesting.