Tracking the popularity and outcomes of all bioRxiv preprints

Richard J Abdill, Ran Blekhman


The growth of preprints in the life sciences has been reported widely and is driving policy changes for journals and funders, but little quantitative information has been published about preprint usage. Here, we report how we collected and analyzed data on all 37,648 preprints uploaded to, the largest biology-focused preprint server, in its first five years. The rate of preprint uploads to bioRxiv continues to grow (exceeding 2,100 in October 2018), as does the number of downloads (1.1 million in October 2018). We also find that two-thirds of preprints posted before 2017 were later published in peer-reviewed journals, and find a relationship between the number of downloads a preprint has received and the impact factor of the journal in which it is published. We also describe, a web application that provides multiple ways to interact with preprint metadata.


Nov 30, 1999·Science·E Marshall
Dec 11, 1999·BMJ : British Medical Journal·T DelamotheB Witscher
Jan 5, 2006·JAMA : the Journal of the American Medical Association·Eugene Garfield
Jul 5, 2008·Science·Martin RaffPeter Walter
Jan 10, 2013·PloS One·Adriano B L TortOlavo B Amaral
Jan 30, 2013·Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America·Solomon H Snyder
May 22, 2013·PLoS Biology·Philippe Desjardins-ProulxDominique Gravel
Jun 1, 2013·PloS One·Mike ThelwallCassidy R Sugimoto
Jul 5, 2013·Public Understanding of Science·Luis Sanz-Menéndez, Gregg G Van Ryzin
Nov 15, 2013·Nature·Ewen Callaway
Feb 12, 2014·Nature Reviews. Rheumatology·Taunton R Southwood
Aug 6, 2015·PloS One·Stefanie RingelhanIsabell M Welpe
Oct 29, 2015·Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America·Ronald D Vale
Feb 13, 2016·Nature·Kendall Powell
Feb 14, 2016·Healthcare Management Forum·Stuart MacLeod
May 21, 2016·Science·Jeremy M BergCynthia Wolberger
Sep 13, 2016·Current Sports Medicine Reports·Christopher A McGrew
Dec 2, 2016·PLoS Genetics·Gregory S BarshGregory P Copenhaver
May 26, 2017·MBio·Patrick D Schloss
Oct 1, 2017·Science·Jocelyn Kaiser
Oct 29, 2017·Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America·Inder M Verma
Dec 9, 2017·Nature Biotechnology
Jan 25, 2018·JAMA : the Journal of the American Medical Association·Stylianos Serghiou, John P A Ioannidis
Jul 10, 2018·Human Reproduction·M H van den BergDCOG LATER-VEVO study group


May 22, 2019·PLoS Biology·Richard J Abdill, Ran Blekhman
Aug 30, 2019·Nursing Research·Rita H Pickler
Feb 21, 2020·JAMA Oncology·Jie Xu, Lanjing Zhang
Apr 21, 2020·PLoS Genetics·Naomi C Penfold, Jessica K Polka
Feb 23, 2019·PLoS Biology·Sarvenaz SarabipourZach Hensel
Apr 22, 2020·Thorax·Alan Robert SmythGisli Jenkins
Jun 13, 2020·ELife·Jason D FernandesAmanda Haage
Aug 1, 2020·The Journal of Experimental Medicine·Tanya S FreedmanMatthew F Krummel
Jul 30, 2020·Proteomics·Liang YueTiannan Guo
Jul 28, 2020·ELife·Richard J AbdillRan Blekhman
Jul 19, 2020·Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology : CJASN·Caitlyn VlasschaertMatthew B Lanktree
Apr 22, 2020·Genome Biology·Barbara Cheifet
Oct 30, 2019·Journal of Hip Preservation Surgery·Richard Ricky Villar
Nov 7, 2019·Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health·Daniel PoremskiDaniel Shuen Sheng Fung
Feb 15, 2020·F1000Research·Andrea ChiarelliEmma Richens
Oct 24, 2020·Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice·Shayan Nabavi NouriAndrew J Einstein
Nov 11, 2020·Journal of Translational Medicine·Diego A ForeroGeorge Perry
Dec 10, 2020·Research Integrity and Peer Review·Clarissa F D CarneiroOlavo B Amaral
Dec 23, 2020·The Canadian Journal of Nursing Research = Revue Canadienne De Recherche En Sciences Infirmières·Jacqueline K OwensJennie C De Gagne
Apr 5, 2020·Journal of Cystic Fibrosis : Official Journal of the European Cystic Fibrosis Society·Scott C BellCarlo Castellani
Jan 23, 2021·Journal of the American College of Cardiology·Giorgio QuerRima Arnaout
Jan 5, 2021·Anesthesiology·Evan D KharaschLaszlo Vutskits

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