Query: Where to self-archive?

I mentioned to a colleague the other day that the first issue of FPQ was nearing publication, and she welcomed the news with the comment that her state requires new publication to be Open Access, joking, “I’ll have to publish everything with FPQ.” Of course, we can’t place all our works in Open Access journals, as not every essay easily fits into the few no-fee Open Access publishers in Philosophy (and there are too few). The obvious alternative is to satisfy the requirements of Open Access publication with self-archiving, but some self-archiving mechanisms seem better than others. My colleague expressed concerns that self-archiving on author-owned webpages might reduce the scholarly citation-rates of publications, which is a bit frustrating in light of Kieran Healy’s research on gender and citation rates. I’d welcome the input of those with more knowledge and experience regarding self-archiving. What’s emerging as wise practice?

12 thoughts on “Query: Where to self-archive?

  1. Do you mean self-archiving work that is published elsewhere? Academia.edu and philpapers seem like good bets. Beyond philosophy, I’d go with the tools your university offers. I think most libraries provide this service now. Western uses Bepress but there are other options.

    And citation rates? Anything electronic beats hard copy only for citation. Hard copy only is a death sentence for citation. I guess you’re thinking the comparison is with electronic for purchase publications?

    Lots of questions!

  2. Yes, I was talking with her about self-archiving work that is published elsewhere! So, I think my colleague’s worry about citation rates is that scholars are more likely to point to support in peer-reviewed journal publications that they can cite with dates and page numbers. If a paper is found on academia.edu, it may seem to have less gravitas even if the ultimate version is published in a paywalled journal, and not be found/cited. But all this may be needless worry. PhilPapers certainly seems to be filling the need, although it’s not always clear what one can upload/archive.

    (I’m sure you’re right that most R1 university libraries may offer this now. But most of us aren’t at R1s.)

  3. In philosophy of science, philsci-archive.pitt.edu more or less has a monopoly (it’s fairly explicitly modelled after arxiv.org) and is very well run.

  4. Consider self-archiving into services like figshare.com and zenodo.org. They are similar to each other (first is for profit, second is not). Figshare and Zenodo let you self-archive any paper from any discipline, but also datasets, presentations, posters, pictures, .., anything. Each submission gets a DOI for referencing to it. Both services are for free and add premium features like extra private storage for a fee (not yet for Zenodo but they are considering it). Not sure about Zenodo, but figshare is also digitally preserved with the CLOCKSS system, which will free figshare content in a distributed open database in case figshare disappears. Happy self-archiving!

  5. All of the suggestions above are good ones. They can even be used in combination, so hedging your bets, as it were, between institutional and commercial options. (Both SSRN and Academia.edu are commercial repositories.) It’s important to note, however, that self-archiving, while admirable, comes with some constraints. You can’t simply post your final PDF online — unless you have explicitly been given permission or otherwise have retained your rights to do so. Putting your final PDF online if you’ve signed an agreement that forbids you to do that, as many agreements do, puts any repository (institutional or commercial) at risk for take-down notices, which rather defeats the purpose of self-archiving in the first place. Please make sure you read every agreement before you sign it — and use an addendum (such as this one: http://www.sparc.arl.org/resources/authors/addendum) to retain the rights to do what you want with your publication before that work is published.

  6. ResearchGate (www.researchgate.net) is another repository, though I prefer Academia.edu. Also, many recent copyright agreements allow that the final version can be posted after a specified time, e.g., 2 years. In my experience, Taylor and Francis isn’t willing to grant an addendum of the sort Rebecca mentions, but many other presses are.

  7. Please, if you must post something on academia.edu, make it available elsewhere as well. Academia.edu does not allow your paper to be downloaded except by those signed in on an academia.edu account; the whole idea of self-archive, I take it, is to make things genuinely open, not to drive your readers to sign up for yet another unwanted account and the spam that comes with it.

  8. That’s a good point, Dave Ripley, although I always sign into academia.edu through Facebook, so I don’t know where one would get the spam. I take your point, though, that it’s not genuinely open if a social network must be logged into.

  9. I just wanted to put in a vote for SSRN. I’ve been using it for years and I love it — and I find it easy to use. As noted, Academia requires login for download; SSRN does not. And I like that on SSRN my paper is among papers from lots of different disciplines … someone browsing there can find all sorts of things, and especially things from legal theorists, since it seems law profs use SSRN a lot.

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