Jan 8, 2024 - 2023 Year-end Update


Apologies for being a little late in getting this year-end summary post out there. The year 2023 has been one of stability at Engineering Archive. The server has now settled in to the new software, Open Preprint Systems, and our authors seem to be getting more familiar with the submission workflow. As a result, we have seen some moderate growth in the number of submissions in 2023 as compared with 2022. We currently average around 40 new preprints per month, which garners around 500 preprints annually. This year, we have seen some uptick in the submission of citation spam, which effectively consists of minimal effort papers with an excessive number of self-citations. These are screened manually, although of course some do occasionally slip through the cracks.

This year we were also able to remove one of the pain points in the preprint authoring workflow at OPS, the versioning of posted preprints. With the assistance of a plugin developed by Lepidus Tecnologia, authors can now both create and submit for review new versions of their preprints. This is a drastic improvement over the previous manual method of needing to notify engrXiv moderators when new preprint versions were ready to post. As the plugin is open source, this new workflow is available to all who use Open Preprint systems thanks to the financial support of Open Engineering Inc.

The continued operation of the server and our ability to make improvements such as just described is only possible due to the financial support of the Engineering Archive Membership Circle. The Membership Circle creates the opportunity for institutions, libraries, and other organizations to support the sustainability of the server through a $500 annual contribution. Many of our supporting libraries are in their 6th year of keeping the server running!

We hope you’ll keep in touch via social media. Find us on the fediverse at our Mastodon account @engrxiv@scicomm.xyz. While we still annouce new preprints on Twitter via automated means, that account is no longer actively monitored.

Sep 21, 2023 - New Versioning Workflow


The workflow for creating a new version of a preprint on Engineering Archive has been a challenge for the last year and a half as there was no mechanism for authors to submit new preprint versions and instead they had to manually notify the server administrator when the new versions were ready to be posted. As of a few weeks ago, this is no longer the case with the development of a new version submission workflow.

Thanks to the work of Lepidus Technologia, funded by Open Engineering, authors can now submit new preprint versions when they are ready for them to be posted. As part of the workflow, authors are also asked to provide a justification for the new version, which will be shared with the server administrator and also displayed publicly on the preprint’s page.

Instructions for following this new workflow can be found on the Submission Editing page.

Jun 8, 2023 - The Nelson memo


The Nelson memo, which was written for the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) in August 2022, outlined several key principles for scholarly publishing and research:

  1. Immediate availability: Papers should be made available as soon as possible after they are accepted for publication.
  2. No fees: There should be no charge to access papers.
  3. No copyright restrictions: Papers should be published under a license that permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction.
  4. Quality assurance: The quality of papers should be maintained through peer review and other quality assurance mechanisms.

engrXiv satisfies all four of these principles. By making papers available immediately, without any fees, and under a Creative Commons license, engrXiv helps to ensure that the benefits of scientific research are shared widely.

  • Immediate availability: engrXiv makes papers available immediately upon submission, without any embargo period. This allows researchers to share their work with the world as soon as possible, and to benefit from feedback from other researchers early on.
  • No fees: engrXiv is free to use for both authors and readers. This removes financial barriers to access, and helps to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to participate in the scientific process.
  • No copyright restrictions: engrXiv papers are published under a Creative Commons license, which allows anyone to read, share, and build upon the research. This promotes collaboration and innovation, and helps to ensure that the benefits of scientific research are shared widely.
  • Quality assurance: engrXiv enables early review and scritiny of work posted to the server and enables transparency throuh real-time posting of the latest research as it becomes available.

In addition to satisfying the open access principles outlined in the Nelson memo, engrXiv also offers a number of other benefits to researchers. For example, engrXiv provides a forum for researchers to share their work with a wider audience, and to receive feedback from other researchers. engrXiv also helps to increase the visibility of engineering research, and to make it easier for researchers to find and cite relevant papers.