MindRxiv is an open archive for research on mind and contemplative practices hosted by the nonprofit Center for Open Science (COS) and managed by the Mind & Life Institute. MindRxiv provides a free and publicly accessible platform for contemplative researchers within the sciences and humanities to upload working papers, preprints, published papers, data, and code. This service is part of Mind & Life’s commitment to opening up contemplative research—to reach more people more effectively, to improve research practices, and to build the future of scholarly communication. The server was launched in August 2017. In our first year, we hosted nearly 100 papers, which were downloaded over 20,000 times.

See our blog for more information on transparency and open science as it relates to contemplative research.


What are the benefits of using MindRxiv?

  • Promote research without walls by supporting open access, open source, public goods research infrastructure
  • Getting your work into the public sphere faster than traditional publishing
  • One place to store many outputs and materials for each project
  • Stable, permanent URL (and unique DOI) to use in your CV, professional portfolio, citations, etc.
  • Download statistics

This blog post offers more information on transparency and open science as it relates to contemplative research.

What is open access?

Historically, academic journal articles have been published behind “paywalls,” which means only those who have a subscription (often through their university library) or those with the ability to pay, can access and read them. “Open access” refers to the practice of making academic research publicly available for free, which means more people can access and read it.

Who can post on MindRxiv?

We encourage contributions from researchers and scholars from all disciplines in the sciences and humanities who study mind and contemplative practice. Users must have an account on the OSF to submit a paper.

What can I post to MindRxiv?

MindRxiv hosts academic/scholarly research only—thorough investigations in the format of an academic manuscript, citing other relevant research, generally undertaken in a university or other institutional setting. Relevant topics include all studies of the mind (e.g., contemplative research, psychology, cognitive science, philosophy, religious studies, anthropology, etc.) MindRxiv is part of the Open Science Framework Preprints service and is referred to as a preprints server; however, it hosts papers at a number of stages in the research process:

  • Working papers: Any draft of a paper that is ready to share with interested parties, but has not yet been peer reviewed. If you are sharing your work with a group of colleagues, a conference, or a journal, this may be the perfect time to widen the circle and post it on MindRxiv.
  • Preprints: This term is commonly used to refer to completed papers that have not yet been peer reviewed. However, by some definitions this includes versions of a paper that have been peer reviewed and accepted, but are not yet published by a journal. MindRxiv will host preprint papers from either of these definitions.
  • Post-prints: A paper that has been published by a journal can be shared on MindRxiv after consulting the journal’s copyright and self-archiving policy. A post-print may be an “author version” that does not include the journal’s formatting or other changes, or it may be the publisher’s final, formatted version if you have the right to distribute it (or if the paper is already open access).

How do I upload a paper?

Adding a paper is quite straightforward; just head to MindRxiv and click on “Submit a Paper,” and follow the instructions. (Users must create a free account on the Open Science Framework as part of that process — it’s easy.) See this video tutorial on uploading a paper.

How should I license my work on MindRxiv?

When you upload a paper to MindRxiv, you’re given the option to attach a public domain waiver, or an open license, to your work. A license (or waiver), while not required, is recommended because it communicates to readers how they can use your work. As you’re adding your paper, you’ll see three licensing options:

  • No license
  • CC-0 1.0 Universal (public domain waiver): Posting with this license is considered a donation of the work to the public domain, and no permission is required to for anyone to re-use it in any way.
  • CC-BY Attribution 4.0 International: This license allows the author to retain copyright, and requires the reader to give credit to the source and to provide a link to the license terms.

Both of these CC license options are excellent choices that allow reuse, adaptation, copying, and distribution, including commercially. Both promote openness, efficiency and progress by providing certainty to the user about what reuses or adaptations can be made. CC-0 1.0 Universal license is recommended because it is most closely aligned with broader open-access efforts. Read more about licensing on preprints servers here.

What about other research materials?

Every paper on MindRxiv is automatically associated with a Project on the Open Science Framework platform. Researchers can attach data, code, or other research materials to their papers by including them in the associated project. Sharing data and code on the Open Science Framework is encouraged, in the spirit of openness and transparency.

I have a specific journal in mind to publish in, do they allow me to share preprints in MindRxiv?

Most publishers do permit sharing preprint versions, and will also accept submissions of work that has been previously shared as a preprint. An easy way to find out about rules for a specific journal is to check on Sherpa Romeo, a helpful database of publisher copyright and self-archiving policies. Each journal’s website should also have a section on copyright information.

Does Google Scholar index MindRxiv?

Yes. As of April 2017 Google Scholar is successfully ingesting and linking to MindRxiv papers and other papers on the OSF Preprints server.

Do papers that are uploaded to MindRxiv receive a Digital Object Identifier (DOI)?

Yes. All MindRxiv papers are automatically assigned a unique DOI for their project. In addition, if a paper has been published elsewhere and already has a DOI, that information can be included when uploading it to MindRxiv; this allows the preprint to link to the latest published version.

What is the legal status of MindRxiv?

MindRxiv is hosted by the nonprofit Center for Open Science (COS) through the OSF Framework web platform. MindRxiv is managed administratively by the Mind & Life Institute as part of their mission to support the contemplative research community. The MindRxiv Steering Committee is actively involved in an advisory role.

What is the Center for Open Science (COS) and the Open Science Framework (OSF)?

COS is our technology partner and the owner of OSF Preprints, the platform on which MindRxiv runs. OSF Preprints is a part of the OSF, which “provides free and open source project management support for researchers across the entire research lifecycle.” It hosts MindRxiv papers and allows users to link papers to other components of research projects such as data and code. Learn more about COS by visiting their FAQ page.