Bonnie's Library Tips: Posts tagged open-access

Talking about Open Access Agreements

What is the ScholarsArchive@OSU and how does it relate to promoting open access?

  • The ScholarsArchive@OSU (SA) is Oregon State University’s Institutional Repository (IR) — a place to preserve the scholarly output of OSU faculty, staff and students.  The College of Forestry has several collections in the SA, however it is not necessary for a person looking for an article to do more than a Google search to locate it.

Why participate in open access by depositing articles in the ScholarsArchive?

  • Once a document is deposited (electronically) in the SA, it has a permanent URL and be freely available to all.

Can I do this legally?

  • Yes.  Many publishers (Elsevier, Springer, NRC, SAF, etc.) have added language to their copyright transfer agreements allowing the deposit of your final (post-refereed) draft in an IR.  Some allow for depositing their pdf after a specified lag.

What if my publisher is an exception?

  • Until you sign the copyright transfer agreement you hold all copyrights to your work.  You can use an “author addendum” when signing the copyright transfer agreement which clarifies your understanding of rights you wish to retain.  If the publisher doesn’t agree, at least you tried and in this case your article would not be deposited.

Will agreeing to participate affect my choice of publishing outlets?

  • No. The aim of this initiative is to encourage you to make your publications available but not to restrict where you elect to publish.

Will agreeing to participate affect the timely publication of my articles?

  • It shouldn’t.  Depositing in the SA happens after your article is published.

How does it work, who deposits my article in the SA?

  • If you are in the College of Forestry for example, when you submit the final (post-refereed) draft for publication, send a copy to Forestry Publications and it will be deposited for you. Or you can elect to do this yourself.

When will I have a URL for my CV?

  • The permanent URL is available within a week of depositing an article in the SA.

(PDF version available at:

Open Access tips for OSU Authors

Remember to add a “Access-Reuse” addenda before you sign the publisher’s copyright transfer agreement.  Then you will have the option of depositing your article in the OSU ScholarsArchive. You can use the the Science Commons Addenda generator to do this addenda.

Even a publisher will not allow you to use its  published pdf  it will usually let you retain the right to deposit your final, post-refereed “post-print” in the ScholarsArchive.  Use the SherpaRoMEO site to look this up.

When you are investigating publishing options for the future, these tools may be useful:

Update: Forestry Journals and Authors Rights

Here is an updated edition of a spreadsheet giving Author-Rights to self-archive pre/post prints in forestry related journals as of September 2009.  Information is from SherpaRoMEO and some website sleuthing.  Feel free to send corrections or additions to me.

ScholarsArchive@OSU needs your articles!

[Note: content below is excerpted from the OSU IR website.]

In the coming months you may receive an email from your subject librarian asking if we might articles you have written to the ScholarsArchive, your Institutional Repository here at Oregon State University. These will be cases where the journal publisher explicitly allows you, the author, to “self-archive” their formatted pdf version after a specified period of time.

The ScholarsArchive is a digital service for gathering, indexing, making available and storing the scholarly work of the Oregon State University community. It has a 5 year history and is now ranked 5th in the nation in size. Extension and Experiment Station Communications is now a leader in participation in this activity, but you as an individual scholar can participate as well.

We encourage you to be proactive and deposit pdfs of your pre-refereed and/or post-refereed articles as well. As noted in earlier newsletter entries, numerous journals allow this. If you have any trouble finding out what you can and can’t deposit just contact your subject librarian.

Why bother? The biggest reason to contribute to an open access institutional repository like the ScholarsArchive is more diverse dissemination. Your writing will be exposed to a wider audience and to those who don’t have access to a large library and who would otherwise have to pay to read it.

The work must be in digital form and you must be willing and able to grant to Oregon State University the non-exclusive right to preserve and distribute the work. But, once deposited, the URL is persistent and will not disappear as happens so often with items merely linked on a web server.

Where will my article reside? You will find that most departments and/or Colleges are represented by a “community” in the ScholarsArchive. These articles are contributed to a “research publications” collection within that community. This is a relatively new activity so those collections may not have many articles in them currently. It is important to remember that no one will have to know how to get to the article once deposited because Google or any search engine will find it for them.

So make AY 2009/10 the year that you contribute to the ScholarsArchive@OSU — it’s free!

How green is your journal?

As the author you can assure long term, public access to your scholarly writing. Ideally, you will be able to find an appropriate, peer-reviewed, open access journal. The Directory of Open Access Journals can help you assess your options.

Regardless of where you publish, you should consider depositing a pre-publication version of your article in OSU’s ScholarsArchive. Items in the ScholarsArchive are accessible. You can then also provide the citation and link to the published version as well. Some journals allow you to deposit the post-publication/formatted file after a specified time lag. You can learn more about “self-archiving” at:

If you support a journal with contributions of your time as an editor or for peer review you may want to know if it supports the authors’ right to self-archive. The Sherpa/RoMEO website provides information on these policies for many journals. They have developed a four color code for describing copyright transfer agreements with respect to self-archiving:

  • Green permits archiving the pre-publication print and post-publication print
  • Blue permits archiving the post-publication print (final draft post-refereeing)
  • Yellow permits archiving the pre-print (i.e. pre-refereeing)
  • White permits neither

Assuring public access to the scholarly information produced by OSU researchers is largely under your control as author. At some point in the publishing process, you will be asked to sign a copyright transfer agreement for the journal publisher. It is true that the formal journal “frame” in which your article appears has value — it indicates peer review for example. But before you sign away your rights, consider how you might want to re-use that content in the future.

  • Will you be able to revised this article and publish it later a book or as part of a website?
  • Will you retain the right to be informed and/or decline if the publisher wants to re-use your article as a chapter in a book?

You have choices when negotiating the language of the copyright transfer agreement. You can add an author addendum to publisher’s contract. Some very helpful models and suggestions for “what to do if” are available from the UC Berkeley Library. If you have questions regarding the ScholarsArchive and/or retaining your author rights, contact your subject librarian.