Preprints: What, Why, and Where?

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 leadley@uw.edu.

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References & Resources:
SHERPA on preprints: http://www.sherpa.ac.uk/romeoinfo.html#prepostprints

 

Faculty and Open Access

How can faculty be involved in supporting and promoting Open Access efforts? Here are a few suggestions, adapted from SPARC and International Open Access Week:

  • Submit your research articles to OA journals as appropriate to your field.
  • Deposit your preprints in an OA archive, such as UW’S institutional repository ResearchWorks (learn more about ResearchWorks here).
  • If allowed by the Copyright Transfer Agreement (CTA) you signed with your publisher, deposit your postprints in an OA archive like ResearchWorks. If you’re not sure what your CTA allows or have not yet signed a CTA, check out our posts on understanding your author rights, part one and part two.
  • Deposit your data files in an OA archive along with the articles built on them (learn more about data management via our earlier post). Whenever possible, link to the data files from the articles, and vice versa.
  • Explore using Open Educational Resources (OER) in lieu of expensive textbooks in the courses you teach (learn more about OER via our previous post).
  • When asked to referee a paper or serve on the editorial board for an OA journal, consider accepting the invitation.
  • If you are an editor of a toll-access journal, start an in-house discussion about converting to OA, experimenting with OA, and letting authors retain copyright.
  • Volunteer to serve on your university’s committee to evaluate faculty for promotion and tenure. Make sure the committee is using criteria that, at the very least, does not penalize faculty for publishing in peer-reviewed OA journal, and at best, gives faculty an incentive to provide OA to their peer-reviewed research articles and preprints, either through OA journals or OA archives.
  • Work with your professional societies to make sure they understand OA. Persuade the organization to make its own journals OA, endorse OA for other journals in the field, and support OA eprint archiving by all scholars in the field.
  • And last, but certainly not least, educate the next generation of scientists and scholars about OA, and support their efforts to engage with scholarship in this environment (such as participating in UWB’s Open Access research journal, Interdisciplinarities).

If you have any questions, please contact us.

Introducing ResearchWorks, UW’s Open Access Institutional Repository

ResearchWorks_UWBothell

The ResearchWorks Archive is the University of Washington’s open access institutional repository. Hosted by the UW Libraries, ResearchWorks provides a permanent online storage space for research and scholarship produced by University of Washington faculty and researchers. ResearchWorks depository services are available to all UW faculty and researchers, and content in ResearchWorks is open and accessible to anyone.

ResearchWorks features:

  • Trusted institutional repository
  • Permanent digital file storage and accessibility
  • Persistent DOI for every digital object in the repository
  • Compatible with most digital file formats, including text files, images, datasets, video, and audio files
  • Available to all UW faculty and researchers

What ResearchWorks can do for you:

  • Provide permanent storage for your articles, datasets, and other scholarship and research. Assemble all of your scholarship in a single place and know it will be preserved and backed up.
  • Provide persistent links to your articles, datasets, and other scholarship and research. Share and embed links with confidence, knowing they will not change
  • Expose your scholarship to a wider audience through Google Scholar. All ResearchWorks content is indexed by Google Scholar
  • Add your scholarship to UW Bothell ResearchWorks collections and the collections of the UW departments and communities you choose

To learn more about ResearchWorks, visit our Digital Collections & Services guide, http://libguides.uwb.edu/digitalcollections/archiving, or contact Denise Hattwig, Curator, dhattwig@uw.edu, or Sarah Leadley, Director, sleadley@uw.edu.

References & Resources