Re: Etymology of "Eprint"

From: J.W.T.Smith <J.W.T.Smith_at_UKC.AC.UK>
Date: Tue, 22 Aug 2000 11:52:09 +0100

Professor Harnad, et al,

On Mon, 21 Aug 2000, Stevan Harnad wrote:

> On Sun, 20 Aug 2000, wmy wrote:
> > Dear Prof. Stevan Harnad,
> >
> > I am a young editor of the Publishing House of the Chinese Medical
> > Association. I am writing a paper on electronic preprint, but I cannot
> > find a paper systematically introducing the origin and development of
> > electronic preprint.
> >
> > I know you are a well-know expert in this field, so could I ask you a
> > question. My question is: When, if possible, who first put forward the
> > idea of electronic preprint? And if convenient, could you please provide
> > me with some related references.
> >
> > Any help from you will be appreciated.
> >
> > Best regards,
> >
> > Mouyue Wang
> > Publishing House
> > Chinese Medical Association
> >
> Dear Mouyue Wang,
> The idea of a "preprint" comes from the paper era, and it refers
> to a paper copy of an article that has not yet been refereed or
> accepted for publication.

This clashes with my definition of a 'pre-print'. As far as I am aware
this term arises from the provision by many journal publishers of printed
copies of papers in their final form to authors in advance of the formal
publication so they could distribute them to colleagues. So they were not
unrefereed or unaccepted just not formally published. The act of
distibuting papers in advance of submission for publication I would
describe as the circulation of 'working papers' or 'work in progress'.

This provision of paper 'pre-prints' may still happen. I have some
provided by an Indian journal which published a paper of mine in 1996.


John Smith,
University of Kent at Canterbury, UK.
Received on Mon Jan 24 2000 - 19:17:43 GMT

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