2020-10-13 / Blog 7

How can I share my paper?

Since the academia embraced the "Publish or perish" principle, it is of utmost importance for researchers to publish their work in well-established journals of their fields. The number of submissions and published papers are increasing rapidly. For example, the number of submissions to Functional Ecology journal in 2013 is more than double of the amount in 2004, while the number of published papers increased more modestly (Fox and Burns, 2015).

There is a very clear risk with the increase in these numbers. Your paper might go unnoticed. Therefore, many researchers started looking for platforms to share their papers in a way that increases their visibility and accessibility. Researchgate is one of the main platforms for scholarly collaboration network and scientific content sharing. Many researchers, including myself, started using Researchgate to connect with other researchers all around the world and to share papers. Over 18 million researchers use this platform (Researchgate, 2020), and an average of 130000 articles are added to ResearchGate each month. Approximately 45 percent has copyright infringement issues (Coalition for Responsible Sharing, 2019). When you write a paper, the copyright of the content belongs to you. But when you publish it in a journal, you sign a copyright transfer form and you give your rights to the journal. Here comes the question we all asked ourselves at least once "How can I share my paper then?".

First of all, let's start with some definitions. These are based on the definitions provided by publishers, such as Elsevier, Springer, ICE Publishing etc.

Versions of manuscript

Pre-print: This is the version of the manuscript before you submit to a journal, which means it has not been peer-reviewed.

Accepted: This is the version of the manuscript accepted by the editorial board of the journal after peer-review. An accepted manuscript is subject to editorial processes, such as typesetting and proof reading.

Published: This the final version of the manuscript, which has been formatted and edited by the journal.

Many publishers do not have any problems with you storing the pre-print on platforms such as academia.edu, ArXIV, RePEc or Researchgate etc. But, this is a version that has not been peer-reviewed. Accepted version is more or less what gives you a bit of more flexibility to share a version that has been peer-reviewed. Finally, you are not allowed to share a published version - unless it is published with an open access license. It seems like accepted version is the way to share. I will try to summarise the policies of some publishers on how to share your accepted version.

Sharing policies of accepted papers

Elsevier: Information presented herein is based on article sharing policy of Elsevier. You can upload an accepted version of your manuscript on your non-commercial personal website or blog immediately after acceptance. If you have a pre-print in arXiv or RePEc, you can also upload it with the accepted version. There are still some steps need to be taken before sharing:

  • There should be a link in your document to the published version on journal's website, including DOI.

  • You should add a CC-BY-NC-ND license. You can download one from Creative Commons, and an image file to your document.

  • It should not look like the final published version of the manuscript. In other words, it should be a simple word or pdf file similar to what you submit to the journal.

This is what you can do immediately after acceptance. Let's look what you can after an embargo period:

You can share the accepted version - with the same criteria as above - on non-commercial hosting platforms, such as an institutional repository, or via commercial sites with which Elsevier has an agreement. This is the part that muddies the water. As far as I know, Elsevier does not recognise Researchgate as a non-commercial platform, and there is no mention of an agreement between Researchgate and Elsevier as of 12.10.2020 (Researchgate, 2020). This means that sharing your accepted manuscript in a journal of Elsevier on Researchgate is not allowed.

Springer: Information presented herein is based on self-archiving policy of Springer. You can upload an accepted version of your manuscript on your non-commercial personal website or blog immediately after acceptance. If you have a pre-print in arXiv or RePEc, you can also update it with the accepted version. Same criteria of having a link to the published version, DOI, and a Creative Commons license are also valid. After an embargo period of 12 months, Springer mentions that you can store your accepted manuscript on your employer’s internal website, and on institutional or funder repositories. Springer does not mention anything about commercial hosting or sharing platforms. This means that you cannot share your accepted manuscript in a journal of Springer on Researchgate.

Wiley: Information presented herein is based on self-archiving policy of Wiley. Wiley is one of the strict publishers. You can store the pre-print on your personal website, institutional repository or not for profit subject-based preprint servers or repositories. However, there is no way to share the accepted version of a paper in a Wiley journal immediately after the acceptance. You can update the pre-print or store the accepted version in the same media only after an embargo period of 12 - 24 months, which depends on the specific journal. This means that you cannot share your accepted manuscript in a journal of Wiley on Researchgate.

ICE Publishing: Information presented herein is based on Permissions and Copyright of ICE Publishing. This is an interesting case. ICE Publishing does not seem happy with a pre-print stored in public domain, while the paper is being reviewed. However, they let you to store the accepted version of your manuscript on open, unrestricted websites after an embargo period of 12 months. This means you can share your accepted manuscript in a journal of ICE Publishing on Researchgate 12 months after the acceptance.

Taylor & Francis: Information presented herein is based on sharing versions of journal articles in Taylor & Francis. You can upload an accepted version of your manuscript on your non-commercial personal website or blog immediately after acceptance. If you have a pre-print in arXiv or RePEc, you can also update it with the accepted version. Sharing in an institutional repository or scholarly collaboration network is allowed after embargo period. This means you can share your accepted manuscript in a journal of Taylor & Francis on Researchgate after an embargo period.

Sharing policies of published papers

Well, that is a no-go. You should not be uploading the published version of your manuscript to Researchgate. This is a copyright infringement, unless you published your paper open-access.

Summary

It is 2020, no one has time to read. So, let's summarise everything.

Finally, if you want a quick check, you can paste the DOI of your article on howcanishareit.com, and it tells you how and where you can share it.

This is a collection of information I gathered over a wide range of sources, there might be changes, mistakes, or typos in it. If you think there is anything wrong, please send me an email anil dot yildiz at newcastle dot ac dot uk. In case you have any doubts about where and how you can share your paper, please consult the publisher.