Preprints in Health Professions Education: Raising Awareness and Shifting Culture

Acad Med. 2023 Jan 1;98(1):17-20. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000005001. Epub 2022 Sep 27.


A preprint is a version of a research manuscript posted by its authors to a preprint server before peer review. Preprints are associated with a variety of benefits, including the ability to rapidly communicate research, the opportunity for researchers to receive feedback and raise awareness of their research, and broad and unrestricted access. For early-career researchers, preprints also provide a mechanism for demonstrating research progress and productivity without the lengthy timelines of traditional journal publishing. Despite these benefits, few health professions education (HPE) research articles are deposited as preprints, suggesting that preprinting is not currently integrated into HPE culture. In this article, the authors describe preprints, their benefits and related risks, and the potential barriers that hamper their widespread use within HPE. In particular, the authors propose the barriers of discordant messaging and the lack of formal and informal education on how to deposit, critically appraise, and use preprints. To mitigate these barriers, several recommendations are proposed to facilitate preprints in becoming an accepted and encouraged component of HPE culture, allowing the field to take full advantage of this evolving form of research dissemination.

MeSH terms

  • Health Occupations
  • Humans
  • Peer Review*
  • Publishing*
  • Research Personnel