Is self-archiving the same as publishing? More about Open Access.


A couple of weeks ago we brought you a blog post on open access publishing. Griffith is putting together an Open Access webpage for all you budding academics out there who are (and established academics!) who are looking to get published in some research journals down the track. In that spirit, we’ll be bringing you some info over the coming weeks about open access publishing.

So, today’s question: Is self-archiving the same as publishing?

The short answer is: no.  The long answer is: an institutional or subject repository is not a publisher. Items archived in repositories have generally already been published (in some cases the publisher will allow the pre-print to be archived prior to publication).

Publishers provide services that repositories do not, such as peer review; publish your article in a (renowned) journal and provide citation information regarding your article. The publisher also provides other researchers in your field access to your article. However, if the journal is not an Open Access journal this access will be by subscription only.

Self-archiving in an  institutional or subject repository makes your article more visible, accessible, harvestable, searchable and useable, thus maximising access to your research. This in turn will widen its usage and impact, which can increase your citations. So, while self-archiving is not the same as publishing, it is still a beneficial practice to get into.

Many non open access publishers allow the self-archiving of post-print in repositories, but to be sure, check the Copyright Transfer Agreement to see what rights you retain. Checking your rights prior to signing will allow you to negotiate with the publisher to ensure you retain the right to self-archive. Prior to publishing you can also check publisher copyright policies with SHERPA/Romeo.

Are you hoping to publish in open access journals in the future?