Self-archiving is the act of (the author's) depositing a free copy of an electronic document online in order to provide open access to it.[1] The term usually refers to the self-archiving of peer-reviewed research journal and conference articles, as well as theses and book chapters, deposited in the author's own institutional repository or open archive for the purpose of maximizing its accessibility, usage and citation impact. The term green open access has become common in recent years, distinguishing this approach from gold open access, where the journal itself makes the articles publicly available without charge to the reader.[2]


Self-archiving was first explicitly proposed as a universal practice by Stevan Harnad in his 1994 online posting "Subversive Proposal" (later published in Association of Research Libraries[3]) although computer scientists had been practicing self-archiving in anonymous FTP archives since at least the 1980s (see CiteSeer) and physicists had been doing it since the early 1990s on the web (see arXiv).

The concept of green open access was coined in 2004 to describe a “mode of publishing in non open access journal but also self archiving it in an open access archive”.[4] Different drafts of a paper may be self-archived, such as the internal non-peer-reviewed version, or the peer-reviewed version published in a journal. Green open access through self-archiving was initially enabled through institutional or disciplinary repositories, as a growing number of universities adopted policies to encourage self-archiving. Self-archiving repositories do not peer-review articles, though they may hold copies of otherwise peer-reviewed articles. Self-archiving repositories also expect that the author who self-archives has the necessary rights to do so, as copyright may have been transferred to a publisher. Therefore it may only be possible to self-archive the preprint of the article.[5]


Whereas the right to self-archive postprints is often a copyright matter (if the rights have been transferred to the publisher), the right to self-archive preprints is merely a question of journal policy.[6][7]

A 2003 study analysed 80 journal publishers‘ copyright agreements and found that 90 percent of publishers asked for some form of copyright transfer and only 42.5 percent allowed self-archiving in some form. In 2014 the SHERPA/Romeo project recorded that of 1,275 publishers 70 percent allowed for some form of self-archiving, with 62 percent allowing both pre and postprint self-archiving of published papers.[8] In 2017 the project recorded that of 2,375 publishers 41 percent allowed pre and postprint to be self-archived. 33 percent only allowed the self-archiving of the postprint, meaning the final draft post-refereeing. 6 percent of publishers only allowed self-archiving of the preprint, meaning the pre-refereeing draft.[9]

Publishers such as Cambridge University Press[10] or the American Geophysical Union,[11] endorse self-archiving of the final published version of the article, not just peer-reviewed final drafts.

Locations for self-archiving include institutional repositories, subject-based repositories, personal websites, and social networking websites that target researchers.[12] Some publishers attempt to impose embargoes on self-archiving; embargo-lengths can be from 6–12 months or longer after the date of publication (see SHERPA/RoMEO). For embargoed deposits some institutional repositories have a request-a-copy Button with which users can request and authors can provide a single copy with one click each during the embargo.[13]

Social reference management software websites such as Mendeley,, and ResearchGate facilitate sharing between researchers; however, these services are often subject to criticism for using scholars' contributions for commercial purposes[14] as well as for copyright violation.[15] They are also targeted by publishers for copyright compliance, such as when Elsevier (which purchased Mendeley) issued Digital Millennium Copyright Act takedown notices to for hosting scientific papers.[16] Social networking services also do not fulfill the requirements of many self-archiving policies from grant funders, journals, and institutions.[12]

In 2013 Germany created a legal basis for green open access[17] by amending a secondary publication right into German copyright which gives scientists and researchers the legal right to self-archive their publications on the internet, even if they have agreed to transfer all exploitation rights to a publisher. The secondary publication right applies to results of mainly publicly funded research, 12 month after the first publication, cannot be waived, and the author’s version is self-archived.[18]

See also


  1. ^ Harnad, S. (2001). "The Self-Archiving Initiative". Nature. 410 (6832): 1024–1025. doi:10.1038/35074210. PMID 11323640.
  2. ^ Harnad, S., Brody, T., Vallieres, F., Carr, L., Hitchcock, S., Gingras, Y, Oppenheim, C., Stamerjohanns, H., & Hilf, E. (2004) The Access/Impact Problem and the Green and Gold Roads to Open Access. Serials Review 30.
  3. ^ Okerson, A. S. & O'Donnell, J. J. eds. (1995). Scholarly Journals at the Crossroads: A Subversive Proposal for Electronic Publishing. Association of Research Libraries. Retrieved from
  4. ^ Harnad, Stevan (2005). "Fast-Forward on the Green Road to Open Access: The Case Against Mixing Up Green and Gold". Ariadne (42). ISSN 1361-3200.
  5. ^ Madalli, Devika P. (2015). Concepts of openness and open access. UNESCO Publishing. pp. 17–18. ISBN 9789231000799.
  6. ^ Self-Archiving FAQ
  7. ^ "THES May 12 1995: PostGutenberg Galaxy". Retrieved 2017-10-27.
  8. ^ Scheufen, Marc (2014). Copyright Versus Open Access: On the Organisation and International Political Economy of Access to Scientific Knowledge. Springer. p. 85. ISBN 978-3-319-12738-5.
  9. ^ "RoMEO Statistics". SHERPA & JISC. Retrieved 2017-05-08.
  10. ^ Cambridge University Press. "Cambridge Journals Online: Open Access Options".
  11. ^ American Geophysical Union. "Usage Permissions".
  12. ^ a b "A social networking site is not an open access repository". Office of Scholarly Communication. 2015-12-01. Retrieved 2017-02-24.
  13. ^ Sale, A., Couture, M., Rodrigues, E., Carr, L. and Harnad, S. (2012) Open Access Mandates and the "Fair Dealing" Button'. In: Dynamic Fair Dealing: Creating Canadian Culture Online (Rosemary J. Coombe & Darren Wershler, Eds.)
  14. ^ "Do academic social networks share academics' interests?". Times Higher Education (THE). 2016-04-07. Retrieved 2017-02-24.
  15. ^ Jamali, Hamid R. (2017-02-16). "Copyright compliance and infringement in ResearchGate full-text journal articles". Scientometrics. 112: 241–254. doi:10.1007/s11192-017-2291-4. ISSN 0138-9130.
  16. ^ Clarke, Michael. "The End of an Era for and Other Academic Networks?". The Scholarly Kitchen. Retrieved 2016-03-24.
  17. ^ "Bundestag beschließt Open Access-Zweitveröffentlichungsrecht Grünes Licht für grünen Weg". BuchReport. Retrieved 2017-05-08.
  18. ^ Miao, Fengchun; Mishra, Sanjaya; McGreal, Rory (2016). Open educational resources: policy, costs, transformation. UNESCO Publishing. p. 90. ISBN 978-9231001482.

External links

Ancient Philosophy (journal)

Ancient Philosophy is a peer-reviewed academic journal devoted to the study of ancient Greek and Roman philosophy and science. Since 1980 it has published over 1,300 articles and reviews in this field. This journal has a Level 2 classification from the Publication Forum of the Federation of Finnish Learned Societies. and a SHERPA/RoMEO "green" self-archiving policy. It is edited by Ron Polansky in the Department of Philosophy at Duquesne University. Beginning 2019 this journal will be published on behalf of Mathesis Publications by the Philosophy Documentation Center.


CogPrints is an electronic archive in which authors can self-archive papers in any area of cognitive science, including psychology, neuroscience, and linguistics, and many areas of computer science (e.g., artificial intelligence, robotics, vision, learning, speech, neural networks), philosophy (e.g., mind, language, knowledge, science, logic), biology (e.g., ethology, behavioral ecology, sociobiology, behaviour genetics, evolutionary theory), medicine (e.g., psychiatry, neurology, human genetics, imaging), anthropology (e.g., primatology, cognitive ethnology, archeology, paleontology), as well as any other portions of the physical, social and mathematical sciences that are pertinent to the study of cognition.

CogPrints is moderated by Stevan Harnad. The archive was launched in 1997 and now contains over 2000 freely downloadable articles.

Some cite CogPrints, along with the physics archive arXiv as evidence that the author self-archiving model of Open Access can work—although under the influence of the Open Archives Initiative and its OAI-PMH, the emphasis in self-archiving has since moved away from such central repositories in the direction of distributed self-archiving in Institutional Repositories.

CogPrints was first made OAI-compliant, and then the software was converted into the EPrints software at the University of Southampton by Rob Tansley who then went on to design DSpace. EPrints is now maintained by Christopher Gutteridge at Southampton.

Copyright transfer agreement

A copyright transfer agreement is a legal document containing provisions for the conveyance of full or partial copyright from the rights owner to another party. It is similar to contracts signed between authors and publishers but does not normally involve the payment of remuneration or royalties. Such agreements are a key element of subscription-based academic publishing, and have been said to facilitate the handling of copyright-based permissions in print-only publishing. In the age of electronic communication, the benefits of copyright transfer agreements have been questioned, and while they remain the norm, open licenses as used in open access publishing have been established as an alternative.

Delayed open-access journal

Delayed open-access journals are traditional subscription-based journals that provide free online access upon the expiry of an embargo period following the initial publication date.

FUTON bias

FUTON bias (acronym for "full text on the Net") is a tendency of scholars to cite academic journals with open access—that is, journals that make their full text available on the Internet without charge—in preference to toll-access publications. Scholars in some fields can more easily discover and access articles whose full text is available online, which increases authors' likelihood of reading and citing these articles, an issue that was first raised and has been mainly studied in connection with medical research. In the context of evidence-based medicine, articles in expensive journals that do not provide open access (OA) may be "priced out of evidence", giving a greater weight to FUTON publications. FUTON bias may increase the impact factor of open-access journals relative to journals without open access.One study concluded that authors in medical fields "concentrate on research published in journals that are available as full text on the internet, and ignore relevant studies that are not available in full text, thus introducing an element of bias into their search result". Authors of another study conclude that "the OA advantage is a quality advantage, rather than a quality bias", that authors make a "self-selection toward using and citing the more citable articles—once OA self-archiving has made them accessible", and that open access "itself will not make an unusable (hence uncitable) paper more used and cited".The related no abstract available bias is a scholar's tendency to cite journal articles that have an abstract available online more readily than articles that do not— this affects articles' citation count similarly to FUTON bias.


Genetica is a peer-reviewed scientific journal covering research in genetics and evolutionary biology. It was established in January 1919 by Kluwer Academic (which later merged into Springer) and originally published articles in English, Dutch, French, and German. Publication was suspended from 1944 to 1946. The journal allows self-archiving and authors can pay extra for open access. The editors-in-chief are Pierre Capy (French National Centre for Scientific Research, Gif-sur-Yvette) and Ronny C. Woodruff (Bowling Green State University).

Institutional repository

An institutional repository is an archive for collecting, preserving, and disseminating digital copies of the intellectual output of an institution, particularly a research institution.An institutional repository can be viewed as a "...a set of services that a university offers to members of its community for the management and dissemination of digital materials created by the institution and its community members." For a university, this includes materials such as monographs, eprints of academic journal articles—both before (preprints) and after (postprints) undergoing peer review—as well as electronic theses and dissertations. An institutional repository might also include other digital assets generated by academics, such as datasets, administrative documents, course notes, learning objects, or conference proceedings. Deposit of material in an institutional repository is sometimes mandated by that institution.

Some of the main objectives for having an institutional repository are to provide open access to institutional research output by self-archiving in an open access repository, to create global visibility for an institution's scholarly research, and to store and preserve other institutional digital assets, including unpublished or otherwise easily lost ("grey") literature such as theses, working papers or technical reports.

NIH Public Access Policy

The NIH Public Access Policy is an open access mandate, drafted in 2004 and mandated in 2008, requiring that research papers describing research funded by the National Institutes of Health must be available to the public free through PubMed Central within 12 months of publication. PubMed Central is the self-archiving repository in which authors or their publishers deposit their publications. Copyright is retained by the usual holders, but authors may submit papers with one of the Creative Commons licenses.

Open-access mandate

An open-access mandate is a policy adopted by a research institution, research funder, or government which requires researchers—usually university faculty or research staff and/or research grant recipients—to make their published, peer-reviewed journal articles and conference papers open access (1) by self-archiving their final, peer-reviewed drafts in a freely accessible institutional repository or disciplinary repository ("Green OA") or (2) by publishing them in an open-access journal ("Gold OA") or both.

Open-access repository

An open-access repository or open archive is a digital platform that holds research output and provides free, immediate and permanent access to research results for anyone to use, download and distribute. To facilitate open access such repositories must be interoperable according to the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH). Search engines harvest the content of open access repositories, constructing a database of worldwide, free of charge available research.As opposed to a simple institutional repository or disciplinary repository, open-access repositories provide free access to research for users outside the institutional community and are one of the recommended ways to achieve the open access vision described in the Budapest Open Access Initiative definition of open access. This is sometimes referred to as the self-archiving or "green" route to open access.

Philosophy Today

Philosophy Today is an international peer-reviewed journal that reflects the current questions, topics and debates of contemporary philosophy, with a particular focus on continental philosophy.

The journal is especially interested in original work at the intersection of philosophy, political theory, comparative literature, and cultural studies. It seeks to provoke discussion and debate among various intellectual traditions, including critical theory, phenomenology, hermeneutics, feminism, and psychoanalysis. The journal provides space for reviews, as well as short translations of the works of contemporary philosophical figures originally published in other languages. It publishes special issues dedicated to particular topics, and for many years published Selected Studies in Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy in cooperation with the Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy (SPEP). It has a Level 1 classification from the Publication Forum of the Federation of Finnish Learned Societies. and a SHERPA/RoMEO "green" self-archiving policy.Philosophy Today is owned by the Philosophy Department of DePaul University and published on its behalf by the Philosophy Documentation Center.


refbase is web-based institutional repository and reference management software which is often used for self-archiving. refbase is licensed under the GPL and written in PHP and uses a MySQL backend.

It can import and export a variety of standard bibliographic formats, including BibTeX, EndNote, RIS, ISI, MODS XML, PubMed, Medline, RefWorks, and Copac. It can generate formatted bibliographies and citations in LaTeX, RTF, HTML, and PDF. refbase also has advanced search features and can generate RSS feeds from searches. Links using DOIs and URLs can be added, as can links to files. refbase supports the Search/Retrieve via URL (SRU) and OpenSearch web services as well as COinS and unAPI metadata.

refbase packages have been put in the official Gentoo Linux and Mandriva Linux repositories and has been used by the United States Geological Survey.

Registry of Open Access Repositories

The Registry of Open Access Repositories (ROAR) is a searchable international database indexing the creation, location and growth of open access institutional repositories and their contents. ROAR was created by EPrints at University of Southampton, UK, in 2003. It began as the Institutional Archives Registry and was renamed Registry of Open Access Repositories in 2006. To date, over 3,000 institutional and cross-institutional repositories have been registered.As of 2015, ROAR and the UK-based Directory of Open Access Repositories (OpenDOAR) "are considered the two leading open access directories worldwide. ROAR is the larger directory and allows direct submissions to the directory. OpenDOAR controls submission of materials and is dependent on the discretion of its staff. OpenDOAR requires open access of scholarly publications; whereas ROAR allows other types of materials to be included. ROAR allows filtering by country, type of repository, and sorting by repository name."


SHERPA/Juliet is an online database of open access mandates adopted by academic funding bodies.

It is part of the SHERPA suite of services around open access and is run by Jisc (formerly the University of Nottingham).

The database contains information about more than 100 funders, mostly from the United Kingdom. For each of them, Juliet indicates their policy regarding self-archiving, open access journals and archival of research data. Users can suggest updates to the records or the addition of a new funder via a form.This service is mainly useful to researchers who have received project-based funding and want a clear summary of their funder. Links to the original policies are also provided.


SHERPA/RoMEO is a service run by SHERPA to show the copyright and open access self-archiving policies of academic journals.

The database uses a colour-coding scheme to classify publishers according to their self-archiving policy. This shows authors whether the journal allows preprint or postprint archiving in their copyright transfer agreements. It currently hold records for over 22,000 journals.

School of Electronics and Computer Science, University of Southampton

Electronics and Computer Science, generally abbreviated "ECS", at the University of Southampton was founded in 1946 by Professor Erich Zepler. It offers 23 undergraduate courses (in computer science, Web Science, electronic engineering, electrical and electromechanical engineering and IT in organisations), 11 MSc intensive one-year taught programmes and PhD research opportunities.

ECS was the first academic institution in the world to adopt a self-archiving mandate (2001) and since then much of its published research has been freely available on the Web. It created the first and most widely used archiving software (EPrints) which is used worldwide by 269 known archives and continues to be evolved and supported by ECS.


ScientificCommons is a project of the University of St. Gallen Institute for Media and Communications Management. The major aim of the project is to develop the world’s largest archive of scientific knowledge with fulltexts freely accessible to the public.

ScientificCommons includes a search engine for publications and author profiles. It also allows the user to turn searches into customized RSS feeds of new publications. ScientificCommons also provides a fulltext caching service for researchers.

Since the beginning of 2013, ScientificCommons has been inaccessible. All visitors are forwared to an administration login for server virtualization management software Proxmox VE and the site is no longer issuing a valid TLS certificate.

Social Theory and Practice

Social Theory and Practice is a peer-reviewed academic journal that features discussion of theoretical and applied questions in social, political, legal, economic, educational, and moral philosophy, including critical studies of classical and contemporary social philosophers. Established in 1970, it publishes original philosophical work by authors from many disciplines, including the humanities, the social sciences, and the natural sciences. This journal has a Level 1 classification from the Publication Forum of the Federation of Finnish Learned Societies. and a SHERPA/RoMEO "green" self-archiving policy. It is published quarterly by the Florida State University Department of Philosophy, in cooperation with the Philosophy Documentation Center.

Teaching Philosophy

Teaching Philosophy is a peer-reviewed academic journal devoted to the practical and theoretical discussion of teaching and learning philosophy, that is philosophy education. Established by Arnold Wilson in 1975, it has published over 2,500 articles and reviews in this field. Notable contributors include Norman Bowie, Myles Brand, Peter Caws, Angela Davis, Daniel Dennett, Alasdair MacIntyre, Rosalind Ladd, Michael Pritchard, Anita Silvers, and Robert C. Solomon. Members of the American Association of Philosophy Teachers and the Philosophy Learning and Teaching Organization have access as a benefit of membership. This journal has a Level 1 classification from the Publication Forum of the Federation of Finnish Learned Societies. and a SHERPA/RoMEO "green" self-archiving policy. It is published on behalf of the Teaching Philosophy Association by the Philosophy Documentation Center.

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