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Research Impact Challenge: 3. Preserve and Share your work with a Digital Repository

Share your work in an open access repository

Part of having an impact as a researcher is ensuring you are sharing your research as broadly as possible. Publishing your research in a scholarly journal is critical first step, but most journals lock their content behind expensive paywalls, making your scholarship inaccessible to readers who are not otherwise affiliated with an institution wealthy enough to afford a journal subscription. This contributes to major global inequities of access and participation in systems of research, scholarship, and publishing.

To ensure that the broadest possible audience can access and read your work, you can share your work in an open access repository, regardless of where you publish. Such repositories, managed by the world's libraries, research institutions, and funders, also work to ensure that your scholarship is preserved in the long term.

Knowing your rights to share your scholarship

Sharing your work in an open access repository means knowing what rights you have as a publishing author, and what rights a publisher needs to in order to disseminate your work. Knowing your rights as an author, and how to retain them, gives you greater control over your scholarship, impacting:

  • How you use your own published scholarship
  • How you share and disseminate your scholarship beyond a journal article or book
  • How others access, read, and use your scholarship

When you author an original research article, you are automatically granted copyright ownership of it, along with your co-authors. This means you have the rights to reproduce, distribute, present, display and build upon your work unless you transfer those rights to someone else.

For scholarly articles, publishers require some transfer of rights in order to disseminate your work, but as an author you are entitled to negotiate which rights you retain to use, share, and build upon your work: read more about copyright, author rights, and scholarly publishing.

To find out what rights you have for an article you've already published, you can read the publication agreement sent to you by the publisher when you manuscript was accepted for publication. You can also determine what rights you have by looking up your publisher or journal in the SHERPA/RoMEO database of publisher policies on author rights.

Digital Case: CWRU's Open Access Repository

Digital Case is CWRU's open access repository for sharing the scholarly output of the university, and includes published scholarship produced by faculty, students, and staff as well as curated digital collections from University Archives and the Kelvin Smith Library. Sharing your work in Digital Case means that anyone can read it, regardless of whether they subscribe to the scholarly journal you published in. It also means that the CWRU and the Kelvin Smith Library will work to ensure that your scholarship is preserved in the long term.

Anyone affiliated with CWRU can share their work in Digital Case, and library staff can assist you in determining whether you have appropriate rights to do so.

 

Wednesday Challenge: Share you work in an open access repository

 

Look up what rights you have as an author to share your work

  1. Choose an article you have published in the past. Read your publication agreement (also called a "copyright transfer agreement") or look up your publisher or journal in the SHERPA/RoMEO database of publisher policies on author rights.
  2. Consider the following questions:
  • Does your journal/publisher allow you as an author to share the article in a repository?
  • If yes, does your journal/publisher specify which version can be shared? For example, some publishers allow you to share the final published version, while other publishers only permit you to share the peer-reviewed manuscript version that does not yet contain the publisher's formatting and typeface. Your agreement should specify which version can be shared in a repository.
  • If yes, does your journal/publisher specify a duration of time after publication before the article can be shared in a repository (often called an "embargo" period)?

Share a version of your work in Digital Case

  1. To complete the challenge, after learning whether you retained the right to share your scholarship and determining which version you can share, go to Digital Case's self-submission form, enter your article's information, and upload a version of your article that your publication agreement permits. Once your submission is reviewed by a KSL staff member, you will receive a permanent URL where your scholarship will be openly accessible in perpetuity!

Other repositories

The repositories can be at institutional or central level, or can be specialized in a specific subject.

Central level repositories

These repositories are maintained by major funders.

Institutional repositories

Discovering each institutional repository is a difficult task. Instead, it is recommended the use of specialized search engines to discover repositories of interest.

Subject repositories

Check this list for more disciplinary repositories: