The paths of Scholarly Publishing and Open Access can be difficult to follow. What are your rights as a researcher and scholar, when and how do those rights change, what are publisher rights, who pays whom, and who has access to the published research? When you have managed to figure out your way on that path, you may encounter various acronyms and terms that can also make the going slow, e.g. CTA, Gold OA, IR, SHERPA, & preprint. What do they mean, and do they really matter?
Let’s just start with one of these terms: the preprint. In our previous post on Understanding Your Author Rights, we mentioned that you may be able to archive a preprint of your article in our institutional repository (IR), ResearchWorks. So, what is a preprint and why might you want to archive it?
A preprint is generally understood to be a working paper or a pre-publication version of a paper. Publishers often define preprints more precisely, and may specify that a preprint is an author’s final version, a version prior to peer review, or any version of the paper prior to its final editing and formatting. Review your CTA (Copyright Transfer Agreement) to determine your publisher’s definition of a preprint. Searching SHERPA/RoMEO by journal or publisher can also provide you with specific preprint archiving policies.
If you determine that it is permitted and you would like to archive your preprint, your research and other scholars can enjoy the following benefits:
- The core of your research becomes available more quickly
- Your research will have broader exposure, reaching those both with and without access to expensive databases and journals
- Articles can be open access
- OA funder mandates can be met (consult your funder or Sherpa/Juliet to determine funder mandates
- Payments to publisher for Open Access status are not required
Okay, you have made it this far down the road with us and you have determined your CTA allows you to archive your preprint. You want to quickly provide open access to your scholarship for other researchers. Where do you go?
The University of Washington has its own institutional repository called ResearchWorks. ResearchWorks is a permanent archiving service for UW faculty and student researchers. More information about UWB archiving services, including a submission form, can be found on this Campus Library guide.
You may also want to consider archiving your preprints in a disciplinary repository. Amongst the many out there:
Humanities Commons for arts, literature, and digital humanities
SocArXiv for Social Sciences
PsyArXiv for Psychological sciences
EngrXiv for Engineering
PubMedCentral (PMC) for the biomedical and life sciences
ArXiv for Physics, Mathematics, Computer Science, Quantitative Biology, Quantitative Finance and Statistics
Check out OpenDOAR if you want to search for more repositories in your field, or search within repositories.
If you have additional questions, please contact Sarah Leadley, Campus Library Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
References & Resources:
SHERPA on preprints: http://www.sherpa.ac.uk/romeoinfo.html#prepostprints