Usually, a scientific paper is published in a journal after it is peer-reviewed. The aim is to make sure that the research is reliable and credible.
During this process, the paper will be vetted by a group of scientists who will assess if the science – the method, the analysis, and the inferences that are drawn from the data, stands up to scrutiny. This is designed to weed out errors, misinterpretation, or flawed research methods.
A ‘pre-print’ is a paper that has not yet been peer-reviewed or published in a journal. The process takes time, so in order to speed up the distribution of research, scientists sometimes post papers to pre-print archives before they are published in a journal.
Read more on peer review.
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