Professional networking sites (e.g., ResearchGate, Academia.edu) may encourage you to upload PDFs of your published articles to your profile. Be aware that you may not always have the right to do this. Elsevier has issued take-down notices to Academia.edu for PDFs of Elsevier articles posted by researchers to their Academia.edu profiles, in accordance with the primary purpose of the site, which is “to share research papers.”
Authors may be surprised and dismayed to learn that their right to post their own work on their own profile, website, or to deposit it in an institutional or disciplinary repository may be limited by their choice of publication venue and by the copyright transfer agreement which they signed when their work was accepted.
Authors do have rights. The best time to exercise them is at the submission and acceptance stages of the publication process–before signing them away to a restrictive publisher. Here are some resources that can help:
- SHERPA/Romeo – A clearinghouse of publisher policies toward sharing, self-archiving, and other author rights issues. Search by journal title or publisher. Know before you submit!
- SHERPA/JULIET – A clearinghouse of research funding agencies’ open access requirements. What does the funder of your research require?
- Your Rights as an Author – The University Library’s Scholarly Commons explains it all for you, including tips for negotiating the terms of copyright transfer.
Have questions? You can always ask a librarian!
Read more about Elsevier’s actions:
Originally posted on the Prairie Research Institute Library blog on 12/10/2013