22 October 2009

Open Access Week: Self-Archiving Case Study

Oxford University Press' self-archiving policy is spelled out here. Basically, it allows the deposit of postprints (defined as "the final draft author manuscript, as accepted for publication, including modifications based on referees' suggestions but before it has undergone copyediting and proof correction") in institutional repositories 24 months after its online publication in the journal. OUP also allows an article preprint (defined as the "un-refereed author version of the article") to be uploaded online.

I undertook a very quick and very limited look at Journal of Refugee Studies (JRS) articles published in 2008 and 2009 to see how many pre- or postprint versions had been archived. Of the 41 articles I looked for, I only located one preprint, which was uploaded to the SSRN service. (See Millbank and Berg 2009.) (I also found a working paper and a thesis upon which two articles were based, but did not count these.)

While my sample size was quite small, I was still surprised that so few JRS article eprints were available. Particularly since most of the authors of these articles are based in academic institutions, and most of those institutions have established institutional repositories. I was able to confirm this by checking OpenDOAR.

Since OUP allows self-archiving, authors should not be worried about violating copyright. Moreover, given the fact that so many academic institutions have established repositories, authors can rest assured that they have the support and encouragement of their employers to make their research more widely available.

For more information, please read "Benefits of Open Access for Research Dissemination."

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Gavin Baker said...

If the journal policy permits self-archiving after 24 months, wouldn't articles published in 2008-9 run up against that policy?

FM Librarian said...

Yes, that's true for post-prints, but not for pre-prints. I went back and looked at 2006 articles as well, with similar results: no pre- or post-prints.