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Top 100-Ranked Clinical Journals' Preprint Policies as of April 23, 2020

Cite this dataset

Massey, Dorothy et al. (2020). Top 100-Ranked Clinical Journals' Preprint Policies as of April 23, 2020 [Dataset]. Dryad.


Objective: To determine the top 100-ranked (by impact factor) clinical journals' policies toward publishing research previously published on preprint servers (preprints). 

Design: Cross sectional. Main outcome measures: Editorial guidelines toward preprints, journal rank by impact factor.

Results: 86 (86%) of the journals examined will consider papers previously published as preprints (preprints), 13 (13%) determine their decision on a case-by-case basis, and 1 (1%) does not allow preprints. 

Conclusions: We found wide acceptance of publishing preprints in the clinical research community, although researchers may still face uncertainty that their preprints will be accepted by all of their target journals.


We examined journal policies of the 100 top-ranked clinical journals using the 2018 impact factors as reported by InCites Journal Citation Reports (JCR). First, we examined all journals with an impact factor greater than 5, and then we manually screened by title and category do identify the first 100 clinical journals. We included only those that publish original research. Next, we checked each journal's editorial policy on preprints. We examined, in order, the journal website, the publisher website, the Transpose Database, and the first 10 pages of a Google search with the journal name and the term "preprint." We classified each journal's policy, as shown in this dataset, as allowing preprints, determining based on preprint status on a case-by-case basis, and not allowing any preprints. We collected data on April 23, 2020. 

(Full methods can also be found in previously published paper.)