Do publishers allow me to put my work on the internet?

Many publishers allow you to put a certain version or versions of an article on the open web. The majority of publishers allow deposit of the Accepted Manuscript (AM) after it’s been accepted, peer reviewed, and revised if necessary. Some require embargoes (delays) on public access to those author versions. Only a very few publishers allow you to post the proprietary publisher branded PDF” (called the Version of Record (VoR)) in the institutional repository via SOAR. Authors should read the publication agreement carefully before signing to see what the publisher allows. There is also a website, Sherpa/RoMeo where you can look up your journal or your publisher to see what their open access allowances might be. This information is also found in the publication agreement that you likely signed at the time of final acceptance for publication. You do not have to check publisher permissions. SOAR staff will research what’s possible at the time of your deposit.  Post peer review, post revisions, just deposit your own final Word doc or similar file (your Accepted Manuscript (AM)) into SOAR at the time of acceptance for publication.

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Has harm to publishers been demonstrated from this type of open access policy, or from “green open access”? Will this hurt my publisher?

Publishers are always reevaluating, but there are no research studies that show harm to publishers from the practice of authors depositing their own final versions in their institutional or disciplinary repositories (or both).  This is why publishers are more concerned with their proprietary version, the “publisher branded PDF” and less concerned with the final author version (often a Word doc, for instance). There is some evidence that depositing accepted manuscripts in institutional repositories while providing links back to publisher versions can drive some reader traffic back to the publisher version of the article.

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Does open access affect peer review?

No, peer review status does not depend on the business model of a journal. Open access journals, just like traditionally-published journals employ different types of peer review. 

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I published my article in an open access journal. Do I deposit the article in SOAR also, or does publishing in an OA journal cover all the bases?

You would just deposit a copy of the open access journal’s article in SOAR. In the case of fully open access journals, the deposit would usually be the Version of Record (VoR). Most open access journals of all types allow the deposit of the publisher’s Version of Record (VoR) of the article into SOAR. The reason for the deposit in SOAR in the case where an article has already been published freely open access on the web is so that all Rutgers scholarship can be gathered together regardless of business model or preservation policy of the publisher. Departments or schools may also want to have complete lists of scholarship for reporting or other purposes.

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What if I am asked by the publisher for a “waiver” from the policy?

Waivers requested or required by publishers are provided by SOAR after Sept. 1, 2015, the date that the Rutgers Open Access Policy became effective. Some publishers require a "publisher waiver" from institutional OA policies, and you will want to submit one at the time of acceptance for publication.  These forms are made available at the point of need from the SOAR website, under Waivers & Forms.  Needing to provide a waiver to a publisher (to waive the OA policy) does not affect the deposit of the article. Deposit the Accepted Manuscript (AM) in SOAR at the time of acceptance of the article for publication as usual, and SOAR staff will research permissions and make the work available as soon as possible.

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Do I need to tell my publisher about the Rutgers Open Access Policy?

No, you do not need to notify a publisher about the Rutgers Open Access Policy. The Rutgers Open Access Policy is registered in an international website, ROARMAP, which lists these policies, and is known to publishers. Also, you will be depositing versions that the publisher allows in SOAR, not branded versions that are proprietary to the publisher. SOAR staff will also be checking publisher permissions for each deposit.

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If my publisher tells me that open access is an option, for a fee, can Rutgers pay the fee?

In the case of fully open access journals that levy Article Processing Charges (APCs), often grants pay the open access fee. Rutgers may, in the future, develop a fund to assist those without grant funding, as some other universities are doing. At this time, Rutgers does not have such a fund in place. The policy stipulates that the author final version, the Accepted Manuscript (AM), usually a Word document, is deposited in SOAR without charge to the author. There are no fees for any Rutgers scholar to deposit work in SOAR. There are subscription journals that offer authors an “open access option” for a fee. No author will need to pay this type of “hybrid fee.” Instead, the author’s Accepted Manuscript (AM) will the deposited in SOAR.

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What about my books? Do publishers allow me to put my books or book chapters in SOAR?

You may want to ask your publisher if you have a desire to make part or all of your monograph open access. Books are outside the scope of the Rutgers Open Access Policy, but we are able to accept what a publisher allows. Some authors reserve certain rights to post small parts of their monographs, such as a chapter, for instance. In other cases, this is not possible. You will need to check with your publisher, preferably before you sign the publication agreement. There are some fully open access monographs, and those of course can be deposited as allowed. In the case of book chapters, you may deposit the work and SOAR staff will research the permissions.

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Besides books and articles, what about other categories of materials not mentioned here? Can I deposit other types of niche scholarly work in SOAR?

Due to variations in disciplinary culture, scholarly and research output may take forms other than books, articles, conference proceedings and other categories already mentioned in this FAQ. Please contact SOAR staff for questions on other categories of scholarly work.

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I have other questions about SOAR, the Rutgers Open Access Policy, or other aspects of open access not answered here. Whom can I contact?

We are happy to assist in any way.  Please contact us at any time with any questions you may have.

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