Departmental Research Self-Archiving Policy

[New link, and new quote]"Free online availability substantially increases a paper's impact" Nature, Volume 411, Number 6837, p. 521, 2001.
  1. It is our policy to maximise the visibility, usage and impact of our research output by maximising online full-text access to it for all would-be users and researchers worldwide.
    1. It is also our policy to minimise the effort that each of us has to expend in order to provide open online access to our research output.
    2. With all our research output accessible online we will be able to respond to the RAE and other administrative initiatives with minimal input and effort from individual staff.
  2. We have accordingly adopted the policy that all research output is to be self-archived in the departmental EPrint Archive ( This archive forms the official record of the Department's research publications; all publication lists required for administration or promotion will be generated from this source.
  3. Our policy is compatible with publishers' copyright agreements as follows:
    1. The copyright for the unrefereed preprint resides entirely with the author before it is submitted for peer-reviewed publication, hence it can be self-archived irrespective of the copyright policy of the journal to which it is eventually submitted.
    2. The copyright for the peer-reviewed postprint will depend on the wording of the copyright agreement which the author signs with the publisher.
    3. Many publishers will allow the peer-reviewed postprint to be self-archived. The copyright transfer agreement will either specify this right explicitly or the author can inquire about it directly. If you are uncertain about the terms of your agreement, a table of copyright policies is available from the JISC ROMEO project. Wherever possible, you are advised to modify your copyright agreement so that it does not disallow self-archiving.
    4. In the rare case where you have signed a very restrictive copyright transfer form in which you have agreed explicitly not to self-archive the peer-reviewed postprint, you are encouraged to self-archive, alongside your already-archived preprint, a "corrigenda" file, listing the substantive changes the user would need to make in order to turn the unrefereed preprint into the refereed postprint.
    5. Copyright agreements may state that eprints can be archived on your personal homepage: The departmental EPrint Archive is a part of the University's infrastructure for your personal homepage.
  4. We do not require you to archive the full text of books or research monographs. It is sufficient to archive the references along with the usual metadata.
  5. Some journals still maintain submission policies which state that a preprint will not be considered for publication if it has been previously 'publicised' by making it accessible online. Unlike copyright transfer agreements, such policies are not a matter of law. If you have concerns about submitting an archived paper to a journal which still maintains such a restrictive submission policy, please discuss it with the Department's IPR and Copyright Advisor.

† The RAE is the UK's Research Assessment Exercise, whose future is currently under review (see debate). The results of the RAE are very highly correlated with standard biobliometric measures of groups' research output (bibliometrics is the calculation of research impact by counting the number of citations that an article, project, person, research group or institution has received.) The implementation of this policy will allow the Department to begin to calculate its groups' impact factors on a [new link] continuing basis.

‡ This is known as the Ingelfinger Rule, after a previous editor of the New England Journal of Medicine. As the Ingelfinger Rule is now vanishing, and as it was never either a legal or an enforceable matter, it need not be a concern of authors. See, for example. the new policy of Nature, which formerly practised the Ingelfinger Rule.

An eprint is the digital full-text of a peer-reviewed research article, either before or after refereeing and publication.

A preprint is any version of an article before the final, refereed, revised, accepted draft.

A postprint is any version of an article from the refereed, accepted, final draft onwards (including post-publication corrections and revisions).

Metadata is information about an eprint, usually the name of the authors, the title, date, journal etc.

To self-archive is to deposit a digital document you have written in a publicly accessible website. The department's archive website is an [new link] OAI-compliant EPrint Archive which provides a simple interface for the depositer to copy/paste the important metadata for an article as well as attaching the full-text document.

See the Self-Archiving FAQ for further information on self-archiving.