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A platform for reviewing preprints.



Composed of 3 different parts:

  • A React-based frontend that provides a standalone webform tool to submit tickets.
  • A Koa-based backend that renders & serves the frontend and exposes an API used by the frontend.

These parts are located here in this repository:

src/backend  # The backend components
src/common   # Common code and assets
src/frontend # The React frontend


PREreview is configured via variables either specified in the environment or defined in a .env file (see env.example for an example configuration that may be edited and copied to .env).

The backend parses the following configuration variables:

PREREVIEW_LOG_LEVEL       # Logging level (default: error)
PREREVIEW_HOST            # The host PREreview runs on (default: localhost)
PREREVIEW_PORT            # The port to bind to (default: 3000)
PREREVIEW_ADMIN_USERNAME  # The administrative user (default: 'admin')
PREREVIEW_ADMIN_PASSWORD  # The administrative password
PREREVIEW_DB_HOST         # Postgres database host (default: localhost)
PREREVIEW_DB_PORT         # Postgres port (default: 5432)
PREREVIEW_DB_DATABASE     # Postgres database name (default: prereview)
PREREVIEW_DB_USERNAME     # Postgres user (default: prereview)
PREREVIEW_DB_PASSWORD     # Postgres password
PREREVIEW_DB_POOL_MIN     # Postgres minimum connections (default: 0)
PREREVIEW_DB_POOL_MAX     # Postgres max connections (default: 10)
PREREVIEW_DB_TIMEOUT      # Postgres connection timeout (default: 0)

Additionally, we use the semi-standard NODE_ENV variable for defining test, staging, and production environments as well as log4js for setting logging verbosity.



First, clone this repository and from the root of the resulting directory install dependencies:

npm install

Then, build all components:

npm run build

Create the database:

npm run db:migrations

And start the running processes (with necessary environment variables if not defined in .env):

npm run start

(use npm run start:dev to run in development mode)

Additionally, components can be built or started individually using for example npm run build:backend, npm run start:worker, etc.


You can deploy this tool using Docker. There is an included docker-compose.yml file that will allow you to run it in a production configuration. First, clone the repo and from this directory run docker-compose:

docker-compose up --build -d

This will build the docker container from the current repository, download the official Postgres docker image, and configure them both (the -d flag will detach from the current shell so that you can leave it running, but you can omit it in order to leave the log output attached).

If this is the first time you've run it on this system, you'll want to run the database migrations to initialize the database:

docker-compose run prereview npm run db:migrations

By default, it runs on http://localhost:3000, but you can place it behind a proxy such as Nginx in order to provide TLS support and other features.


PREreview is an open-source software project licensed under the MIT License by PREreview.