News Release

Preprints are the rational choice for satisfying the Nelson Memo requirements

Not-for-profit, journal-independent preprint servers arXiv, bioRxiv, and medRxiv release open letters to US funding agencies in response to the "Nelson Memo" from OSTP

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bioRxiv and medRxiv Preprint Servers, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

Preprints allow for free and rapid dissemination of publicly funded research results, and federal agencies should include them in their public access policies as they look to meet the requirements of the US Office of Science and Technology Policy “Nelson Memorandum.” arXiv–the e-print repository for physics, math, computer science and other disciplines–and bioRxiv and medRxiv–preprint servers for biology and the health sciences–address the unique role of preprints and the value they bring as they release their responses to the Nelson Memo.

“US government agencies can adhere to the OSTP guidance on public access policies simply by requiring reports of federally funded research to be made available as preprints,” said John Inglis, co-founder of bioRxiv and medRxiv. “These manuscripts are posted to bioRxiv and medRxiv by scientists without cost and can be read by everyone without charge, providing free public access to the latest research findings in biological and clinical science”

Steinn Sigurdsson, arXiv scientific director and professor of astronomy and astrophysics at Penn State University, added “Open access to publicly funded research is a public good, providing fair access to research, and accelerating progress in science. The submission of research manuscripts to preprint servers provides an existing path for US Federal Agencies to satisfy the OSTP guidance on public access.  arXiv e-prints are free to submit and free to read, covering the latest research in a range of subject areas across the sciences.”

arXiv, bioRxiv, and medRxiv welcome the Nelson Memo, which recommends that US government agencies update their public access policies to make publications and data from research funded by US taxpayers publicly accessible immediately without embargo or cost. The archives encourage agencies to recognize that public access to research results can be achieved and expedited through the distribution of electronic preprints of results in open repositories, such as arXiv, bioRxiv,and medRxiv.

The responses are available at,, and

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