I’ve just had a paper published on open access in ecology and evolution, so I thought I would let you know what it’s all about. I wrote a few weeks ago about how you can often post more of a scientific paper online without violating copyright than you might think. I went through a couple of journals in which I had published articles, and tried to work out what I could self-archive. The answer was usually “quite a lot”! Then someone in the comments popped up and mentioned the SHERPA-ROMEO website, which allows you to search for the name of the journal in which your paper has been published and then shows you the policy on self-archiving. Well, being the data-lover that I am I decided to check out the rest of the journals in ecology and evolutionary biology (all 165 that were listed on Thomson Reuters Journal Citation Reports). The results were pretty interesting…
- There are a wide range of benefits to self-archiving, including (i) increased impact through greater citations and downloads, (ii) increased access for the developing world, and (iii) reduced costs for libraries.
- Most journals allow you to self-archive the final version of the article, just not the final publisher’s PDF copy (i.e. all changes are made, but you can’t use the typeset version).
- Journals with higher impact factors tend to have more restrictive policies on self-archiving.
- Publishers vary in their self-archiving policies, with Wiley-Blackwell (and not Elsevier!) having some of the most restrictive policies.
- I provide a wide array of links to help people self-archive if they are not already doing so, including to free web site services.
Basically, self-archiving means that lots more people can access your research (and cite it!), and is very easy to do. This idea that publishers have a strangle-hold on scientific literature is only partly true and self-archiving provides a methods to circumvent some of that control. Spread the word!