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Open Access Publishing: Where to Start

This guide accompanies the workshop "Open Access Publishing: Where Do I Start?" co-sponsored by the Grad College and University Library.

Step 5: Share a copy!

Whether you're publishing in an Open Access journal or not, you can still make a copy of your work free to access by depositing a copy in a repository. Open access content in repositories often includes peer-reviewed content (publisher's version or post-prints) as well as pre-prints, the version of an article before it underwent peer review.

If you use an institutional repository like the ISU Digital Repository, your work will still be findable on Google or through plugins like Unpaywall that search for free, legal copies of research articles based on a DOI search. 

Checking Your Rights

Sherpa Romeo is a unique database that helps you know the rights that specific journals will allow you as an author to retain!

Publisher policy description in Sherpa Romeo results, with descriptions of what versions can be archived OA, and where.

Search the journal's name or ISSN to see its policies. You'll quickly see which version(s) of your work (pre-print, post-print, publisher's version) you can share online and where, plus any special conditions you'll need to follow.

IMPORTANT: Check the last updated date to be certain that the information provided is up to date, and check against the information linked on the publisher website. 

Pre-print (Original Manuscript, Submitted Version)

The Pre-print is the (draft) paper first submitted to publishers - it has not been through peer review or accepted for publication.

A pre-print may be made available to the public before and/or after a paper is published.

Post-print (Accepted Manuscript, Final Draft)

Post-print refers to a paper that has been through peer review and accepted for publication but has not been formatted by the publisher.

Crossref states that any manuscript draft from acceptance onward, including the version of record, is a post-print.

Publisher's Version (Version of Record)

The final, published version of a paper. The Publisher's Version includes the publisher's typesetting, copy-edits, comments, supplemental data, hyperlinks, and other standardized changes.

Embargo (Delayed Open Access)

Some subscription journals have chosen to make all of their content open access after an embargo, a set amount of time post-publication, has passed. This time period is usually between 1 to 2 years but can be as short as 2 months and as long as 10 years.

Some journals only allow sharing Preprints or Postprints, but others allow sharing the Publisher's Version after an embargo. 

Subject Specific Repositories in the Sciences

Repositories for the Humanities & Social Sciences

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Abbey Elder
150 Parks Library
Iowa State University