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#OAWeek2022: Self-Archiving in Open Access – A consulting interview

Done: The hard-earned research results have been accepted as an article. Finally, everyone can read and discuss it. Or not? The article has been accepted by a journal that can only be read by those who have a subscription to it. Paywall is what we call it. The journal is good, the article is good, but how can colleagues without access now read it anyway? One possibility is the self-archiving on an institutional repository.

How exactly the whole process works and what needs to be taken into account in the case of self-archiving is a recurring topic in the daily consulting work of the Open Access Team. The following illustration shows the resulting conversation between the Open Access Team and a scientist:

Librarian: You have several options in this case. On the one hand, Elsevier offers fully open access journals. Here, your article is immediately freely available worldwide. You can apply for funding for the Article Processing Charges through our Publishing Fund.

Scientist: Unfortunately, my journal is not a fully open access journal. Nevertheless, is there a way to make the article freely accessible?

Librarian: Absolutely! You can secondary publish it through our repository.

Scientist: That sounds interesting. Is there anything to keep in mind?

Librarian: Yes, each publisher has certain conditions for self-archiving. The best thing for us to do is to take a look at your journal via Sherpa/Romeo. Here you can see what conditions have to be followed.

Scientist: I hadn’t even heard of that. Thanks a lot. It says that I can upload the accepted version to an institutional repository with the license CC-BY-NC-ND after an embargo of 24 months. What exactly is meant by “accepted version”?

Librarian: This is the version accepted for publication. Often it is also called “Accepted Manuscript”. It contains all changes and adjustments after the peer review. So in terms of content, it is identical to the later publication. What is missing is the publisher’s layout, which would be the “Published Version” or “Version of Record”, you are usually not allowed to use this.

Scientist: All right and how do I continue now?

Librarian: You can use TUHH Open Resesearch – we usually say TORE – to make your article freely available to anyone interested.

Scientist: I’ve heard of TORE before. *thinking*

Librarian: This is the research information system and repository at TUHH. Here you can upload your research results. The benefit is that your documents are permanently provided with a stable link and a unique, permanent identifier.

Scientists: And how exactly do I upload the article to TORE? Can I do that myself?

Librarian: Under the menu point “Publish” you can enter all metadata like title, authors, journal, DOI. It is important that you select the correct license. Then upload your document and set the embargo period in “Access Settings”.

Scientist: After the embargo is over, will the PDF be unlocked automatically?

Librarian: Exactly! At first, only the metadata will be available. Once the embargo expires, the PDF will be available to everyone worldwide. Until then, however, there is a “Request a Copy” button that colleagues can use to request the article from you.

Scientist: That sounds great! Thanks for the infomation.

Librarian: And don’t worry, the library will do a preliminary copyright check before publishing.

Scientists: What if I want to read an article myself and there is a paywall? Is there any way to get access?

Librarian: Unfortunately, we do not offer access to Elsevier journals at the moment. There are currently plans for a nationwide negotiation. But you can search for open access versions and install, for example, various browser plug-ins such as “Unpaywall” or the “Open Access Button“. If there is a freely available version of the article, they will forward you directly.

Scientist: And if there is no secondary publication of the article yet?

Librarian: Then you can contact our interlibrary loan. Our colleagues can usually get the article for you this way. Otherwise, there are also express delivery services that we can use to get the article for you.

Scientist: Thank you very much. Now all questions are clarified for me!

Librarian: I’m glad to hear that! You can always contact us at openaccess@tuhh.de or come to our virtual consultation hours via Zoom (identification code: 347349) on Fridays from 10:00 – 10:30.

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