There are some similarities and some differences between Authorea and arXiv. They are both content repositories for scholarly articles with a focus on preprints. A pre-print is the version immediately prior to what is published in a journal and it is owned by the author, not the publisher. I will mention some differences between the two platforms:
- PDF vs HTML. The most important difference is the format of the papers. Authorea believes in the "paper" of the future, a data-driven, interactive, web-native document. As such, content on Authorea is first and foremost HTML. You can export a PDF, Word, LaTeX, ZIP version of any article. ArXiv is a collection of PDFs.
- Collaborative editing. The arXiv is not a content creation platform. Authorea is. It allows many authors to write papers together.
- Altmetrics. The arXiv has refused over time to reveal alternative metrics, such as number of downloads as they think that they could be used to assess authors' rank and that they are subject to gaming. Authorea has the opposite mindset in this regard. We will publish, to reflect our mission to be transparent and open, all the information we store about documents.