Monday, July 7, 2008

You should self-archive your publications

“Merely to do the research and then put your findings in a desk drawer is no better than not doing the research at all. Researchers must submit their research to peer review and then “publish or perish,” so others can use and apply their findings, But getting findings peer reviewed and published is not enough either: Other researchers must find the findings useful, as proved by their actually using and citing them. And to be able to use and cite them, they must first be able to access them.” (Harnad et al. 2008:37)

This statement provides one of the major reasons to embrace Open Access publishing. But as the authors make clear, many academics are confused about the nature of OA publishing. They tend to equate “open access” with so-called “Gold” OA: internet journals whose content is freely available without the costs of subscription. But in actuality, it is the other kind of OA, “Green” OA, that has the greatest potential to increase the availability and impact of published journal articles. As I have discussed in this blog previously, green OA involves self-archiving. Authors post their papers on the internet, in one of 3 ways: in an institutional repository, in a disciplinary repository, or on one’s own web page.

The accompanying graph, from Harnad et al. 2008:34, shows the increase in citations for journal articles whose authors made them OA by self-archiving. If you want others to read and cite your papers, you should self-archive them. Its a no-brainer. Now archaeology does not have a disciplinary repository (the chances of the AAA or SAA doing this are perhaps slightly above zero), and my institution does not have an institutional repository, so I just throw pdfs up on my web site. And you should do the same.

Harnad, Stevan, Tim Brody, François Vallières, Les Carr, Steve Hitchcock, Yves Gingras, Charles Oppenheim, Chawki Hajjem, and Eberhard R. Hilf
2008 The Access/Imipact Problem and the Green and Gold Roads to Open Access: An Update. Serials Review 34(1):36-40.

Available online: published pdf

manuscript copy

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much for your wonderful blog.

If possible, I'd like for you to discuss one problem. In the recent magazine of the Society for European Archaeology, self-archiving and free internet access to scholarly journals was mentioned. The problem with this was that the authors claimed that in order to have universal free journal access over the internet, the author (or the author's institution) would have to pay a fee to the journal in order to have his/her article(s) published. The journals have to get the money from somewhere if people are no longer going to subscribe. I think this is a terrible option. Not only will the number of publications diminish due to the lack of availability of personal or institutional funds, but this also raises the possibility of having less qualified individuals who have the money to publish in very prestigious journals. The authors claimed that at some point in the near future, free internet access to scholarly journals will be inevitable. What is your opinion on this?