From preprint to e-print
In 1991, the theoretical physicist Paul Ginsparg of Los Alamos National Laboratory was the first to program a simple archive system that imposed order onto the flood of preprints. The archive assigned numbers according to a uniform numbering scheme, saved their electronic versions and made them accessible over the Internet. Since then, the status of preprints has changed: They have evolved into e-prints, electronic articles. In research areas like string theory, they are now a more important means of communicating results to the community than ordinary printed articles.