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Many authors want to share their research, during and after the publication process. Through sharing journal articles, advancements in research and other collective wisdom can be enhanced. There are guidelines, though, depending on where and how you intend to publish your work, and those vary depending on which version of the article you want to share.
For instance, there are different standards for sharing preprints, sharing your accepted manuscripts and published journal articles. Sharing your research is encouraged, but you have to make sure you’re following basic standards, as well as your publisher’s guidelines.
You can share any preprint at any time, and anywhere. The thing to keep in mind is that if your preprint is accepted for publication, you might want to link the preprint to the Digital Object Identifier of the publication. From there, researchers have access to your preprint on platforms like ScienceDirect, and those links will help others access and cite your preprint. You can easily update your preprint with the accepted manuscript via RePec or arXiv.
There are several important differences between how preprints can be shared, depending on the type of journal or research you’re submitted. For example, journals that utilize double-blind peer reviews have different policies, as well as some of the society-owned titles. Check your journal’s Guide for Authors to make sure you’re following their rules.
Additionally, preprints shouldn’t be edited, added to, or enhanced to substitute or appear like the final version of the article. Researchers understand that the preprint is the preprint, and will appreciate no updates to make it resemble more of an accepted manuscript.
Sharing Your Accepted Manuscript
Once your manuscript has been accepted, there are a number of ways you can share it. Again, always check with the specific journal or publication.
In general, you can immediately share your accepted manuscript by or through:
- Your non-commercial, personal homepage, social media or blog.
- Updating your preprint via RePEc or arXiv with the manuscript that’s been accepted.
- Your research institution or their repository for internal use and sharing, or if it is part of an invitation to a research and collaboration work-group.
- By providing copies directly to your students or other research collaborators for their personal information and use.
- For sharing privately as part of an invitation-only working group. For example, if you are publishing through Elsevier, on commercial sites where we have a signed agreement.
Within the world of academic publishing, access to a research article is limited before it can be made available to individuals who don’t have access to the journal via paid subscriptions, or via their institutions. This is referred to commonly as the embargo period.
After the embargo period, sharing can be more flexible and include non-commercial sharing platforms like an institutional repository or via commercial sites where the publisher has as agreement.
Regardless of the publishing entity, accepted manuscripts always need to:
- Be linked to the formal publication through its DOI
- Include a CC-BY-NC-ND license
- Shared via the publishing entity’s hosting policy. Ours is here.
- Not be improved, edited or enhanced to appear more like, or be a substitute for the actual published article
Sharing a Published Journal Article
These policies are dependent on your publishing entity, and usually differ based on subscription and access options.
For instance, if you’re an author, you can share a link to your scientific article versus sharing the full text of the article. This is most pertinent for subscription-based articles, and researchers will have access to these formal publications via ScienceDirect.
Once your manuscript is published, you can also share it privately with your students and/or colleagues for their personal use. Any published theses and dissertations that contained PJAs, or Published Journal Articles, can also be publicly posted by the publishing institution with DOI links back to them on ScienceDirect.
On the other hand, if you’re affiliated with or connected to a library that subscribes to ScienceDirect, you have more private sharing rights for research accessed through that agreement. This might include sharing use for classroom teaching (via course packs and programs) and/or internal education and training at an institution, as well as including the article for the purposes of grant funding.
Otherwise, once an article is published, sharing can typically be done via a specific agreement between the author and the publishing entity. This includes the prohibition of sharing the published article publicly on a platform like Academia.edu or ResearchGate.
Why These Guidelines are Important
Even though some of the limitations to sharing your research during the publication process can seem confusing, they’re there for a good reason. In this day and age of easy-publishing via online, public forums, it’s critical that we all work together to ensure the continuation of peer-reviewed research in science journals and publications.
Language Editing Standard
When you’re submitting your manuscript for publishing, make sure it is written in perfect, correct English. Take advantage of Elsevier’s Language Editing Standard services, which include editing by PhD or PhD candidates selected in your field of study, and who are native speakers of scientific British or American English. Our work is guaranteed! Receive a free re-edit or your money back if your manuscript is rejected based on any language editing errors.