My preprint epiphany I have a confession to make. Although I believe in open science and that journals are an unnecessary evil that hinder scientific progress through both increasing time to publication and restricting access to said publications (more on this in another post), and know preprints are currently the best solution to this problem, I was never super excited to send my work to a preprint server. The thing is, whenever I do a detailed literature search I usually spend a couple hours with different search terms on pubmed1, and preprinted articles are not indexed on pubmed, so would my work even be found if I posted it? And would people be afraid to cite it? If no and yes, then what is even the point of preprinting an article? Another confession. When I'm staring at links for hundreds of publications on pubmed, I use where the article was published in my internal decision making algorithm for whether or not to click the link. Obviously in my algorithm the big three2 tell me to click, click, and then once more for good measure, and the impact factor 10 club of Genome Research, Genome Biology, and Nature Communications also send positive signals. Most other well known journals are neutral, with the exception of PLOS "last resort" ONE and PNA$, which trigger the subprocess routine I use when I'm looking at week old milk in the fridge3. So even if preprints were indexed in pubmed I probably would have hesitated to take a look at them, but I recently realized all my thinking about preprints has been wrong. The review process for my current article is taking longer than I expected so I began to think about preprinting it at bioRxiv. And I couldn't help but return to the issue of who in the hell is actually taking the time to go through the bioRxiv archives to find articles. Then I realized that other users of bioRxiv probably look through these archives. And these other users are probably like me, young scientists who believe in open science. And I remembered that some of the researchers I read and respect the most such as Jeff Leek, Aaron Quinlan, and Lior Pachter preprint all of their articles. So basically the reader base of bioRxiv is to me what the 15-30 year old male is to advertisers. Once I realized this I immediately uploaded my paper. From now on I'm going to take preprints much more seriously. If the preprint user population is who I think they are, then preprinted articles are likely on average better than non-preprinted articles-has anyone looked into this? By not looking through preprinted archives I could be missing out on innovative research that might not get published for years. To support preprints I will try to start citing them in my future papers and will send all my work to preprint servers first and I encourage others to do the same (unless of course you are going to be lowering the quality of the preprints I'll be looking through). 1. I also google search fairly often, but I don't recall finding articles relevant to my research that weren't in pubmed. I have found PhD theses through google searches however, and some of these contained useful information I could not find in peer reviewed publications. 2. Garnett, Pierce, Allen...jk, of course Nature, Science, Cell. 3. Basically, how desperate am I?