Open repositories are based on the principle of self-archiving, i.e. the storage and publishing of some copy of a document (or a version of a document) by the author himself. The terms and conditions of the publisher must always be followed.

Storing and making documents available in open repositories is the green way of Open Access. This is the saving of some version of a document after it has been published in a standard way in any scholarly journal. Deposit in a repository does not interfere with or prevent traditional scholarly publishing. It is a secondary publication and another way of making one’s own outputs available to the professional community.

Auto-archiving is governed by the terms and conditions of the publisher (licence terms, Copyright Agreement, Copyright Transfer Agreement). It is also governed by the terms and conditions of the funder, if the open access obligation is enshrined in the grant agreement, or by institutional policy, if any.

Authors are advised to check the terms and conditions of individual publishers when publishing in the repository. To find the publisher’s terms and conditions, use:

  • Publisher or journal website, sample license agreement
  • Register SHERPA-RoMEO (informative) Provides an indicative overview of how publishers allow their authors to continue to deal with publications. This helps authors if they decide to subsequently publish their publications in an open access mode in a repository (or in other ways)
  • The tool How Can I Share It (informative) Can be used to search for specific articles. This service provides relevant information and practical tools to ensure that authors can share articles with their colleagues quickly and easily. The search is done through the DOI and results in rules that apply directly to the specific article (unless the author has made some individual changes in his/her author agreement).
  • Different terms for different types of repositories!

Most reputable publishers already provide some form of repository access for authors. They specify in their terms and conditions for authors:

  1. which version of the text
  2. within what timeframe from acceptance or publication
  3. where authors can publish the text

ad 1. Types of texts the author may encounter

  • Preprint – an author’s manuscript, a version of the text sent to the editorial office before the review process
  • Postprint – final version of the text after incorporating all comments from the review process
  • Publisher’s version – the published version of the text in the publisher’s graphic design

The most common version of the text that publishers allow authors to archive is postprint. It is variously called, often “accepted manuscript”, “accepted version”, “final peer-reviewed manuscript”. Often, however, the author communicates with the editors online via the editorial system and does not have the final version of the manuscript. It is advisable, if possible, to download and save the latest version of the manuscript before submitting it.

In the case of Gold OA publications, the final publisher’s version of the publication can be stored in the repository.

ad 2. Time embargo

Especially reputable publishers often use the so-called time embargo. Journals with time embargoes allow the author to give free access to his/her articles only after a set period of time has elapsed since publication (often 6-12 months, not infrequently e.g. with Elsevier up to 24 months). During the embargo period, it is possible to publish information about the article (metadata), but instead of the full text, only a link to where the article is available under subscription.

ad 3. Where to post a copy of your article

The same rules do not apply for publishing an article in different places. Publication in an institutional repository or on the author’s institution’s website often has different rules than publication on third-party websites, including professional social networks.

Publishers restrict access to non-commercial use. However, third-party websites and social networks are already considered commercial platforms (although users do not pay anything for their use). Therefore, publishers may allow access to institutional repositories, but no longer allow uploading the same version of the text to social networks.

, Last change: 03.04.2024