The NIH is encouraging all researchers to take advantage of the public dissemination of preprints and other interim research projects. This guide will explain the process according to the NIH rules.
Notice Number NOT-OD-17-050 on March 24, 2017 announced the new NIH policy on preprints and interim research products, Reporting Preprints and Other Interim Research Products. Effective May 25, 2017, the information regarding preprint and IRP use and citations in NIH forms can be used. This announcement is available on the NIH website.
Interim Research Products (IRPs) are defined by the NIH as "...complete, public research products that are not final".
A preprint is often complete and public draft of a scientific document. These unreviewed manuscripts are written using a peer-reviewed journal article style. Preprints are often released to "speed dissemination, establish priority, obtain feedback, and offset publication bias".
A preregistered protocol is another commen type of iterim product. A researcher wil publicly declare key elements of their research protocol in advance. The reasoning can be to "enhance the rigor of their work".
There are several purposes for making preprints or other interim research products publication available.