Supporting Open Research – recording pre-prints in KAR

In this post we outline our policy approach to recording pre-prints in our institutional repository, KAR. It explains what we wished to achieve and why we made the decisions we did.

See our Supporting Open Research – sharing early by publishing pre-prints blog post to find out what pre-prints are, why you might want to use them and what to be aware of.

New pre-print item type in KAR

 We’ve created a new item type in KAR.  The main features of this item type are:

  • bespoke metadata fields limited only to those that are essential for recording pre-prints
  • no option to upload a document 
  • a mandatory restriction for the record to link to a publicly available online document via a DOI or URL 
  • the option to use links between related KAR records to join up pre-print records with subsequent published journal articles 

Our pre-print policy

Our approach to supporting pre-prints in KAR is to provide a ‘record only’ entry in KAR. A link (DOI or URL) to an external site where the pre-print is available is mandatory.

We do not offer the option to upload the full text of a pre-print document.   This prevents KAR operating as a preprint  preprint server which would entail:

  • DOI management
  • encouragement and management of open peer-review
  • ongoing management of pre-prints that never go on to publication
  • responsibilities for maximising early dissemination and citation opportunities

All of these are functions offered by existing purpose-built pre-print servers.

How to record a pre-print in KAR

  1. Make an entry in KAR using the item type “pre-print”. For example see
  2. Provide the DOI or URL to the pre-print platform where it is available
  3. Use only the “Published online” date type
  4. A separate record should be made in KAR for subsequent publication in a journal or another platform. Use the “related resources” field to create links to and from the “pre-print” record in KAR and the “article” record in KAR.  For example,

Why have we done this?

The range of pre-print types and pre-print platforms had created tensions and issues for recording them in an institutional repository.  We needed to address this and wished

  • to meet demand from our researchers who wish to record pre-prints in KAR 
  • to enable our research community to share work earlier in the publication process  
  • to facilitate and encourage Open Research  
  • to support Early Career Researchers to disseminate their research and explore the potential of new and emerging forms of publication 
  • to reflect the changing and more fluid practices used by publishers 

We drew up a list of options and our recommendation and then consulted with researchers and other stakeholders.

The policy and approach that we have adopted

  • facilitates Open Research and early sharing of work without drawing the University of Kent into pre-print management
  • accommodates different types of pre-prints for all disciplines
  • allows for identification and retrieval of pre-prints
  • prevents unnecessary association with “article” funder and reporting requirements
  • provides a lean record that is easy to complete, review, maintain and use  

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.