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Library Notice

What is Self-archiving?

Green OA is also known as self-archiving. It is a strategy of making scholarly works available online by posting version of the Author’s Manuscript onto a digital platform. The works can be journal articles, conference proceedings, technical reports, theses and dissertations, or data sets.
While most journals permit self-archiving, some, such as medical journals, have specific restrictions. To ensure the self-archiving practice aligns with publishers’ policies, you are advised to read the publisher’s websites and contracts carefully before proceeding to upload your papers.
Some research funds may request researchers to deposit their works in green OA. Researchers should also make sure they adhere to their guidelines while doing so.


Where to Self-Archive?

Authors may self-archive their works in three ways:

  • Subject Repositories
    Subject or disciplinary repositories allow papers to be more readily found by researchers with similar expertise. Before you deposit your works, review the policies of the repositories as they may have restrictions on the versions of manuscript submitted. Here are some examples of subject repositories: is run by Cornell University. It provides e-print archive and distribution service in the fields of physics, mathematics, computer science, quantitative biology, quantitative finance, statistics, electrical engineering and systems science, and economics.

    Social Science Research Network (SSRN) is devoted to the rapid worldwide dissemination of social science research. It covers such specializations as social sciences, applied sciences, health sciences, humanities, life sciences, and physical sciences.

    PhilPapers houses index and bibliography of philosophy maintained by the community of philosophers. It monitors all sources of research content in this area.

  • Institutional Repository
    Institutional repositories are run by universities and organizations. They help ensure that the deposition complies with publishers’ guidelines and make your work consistently retrievable. Lingnan University Library provides Lingnan Scholars, the scholarly portal to capture all research outputs and impacts of our scholars. Click HERE to learn more about our service.
  • Personal Websites
    Many authors have professional websites that describe their research interests and recent publications. Authors often wish to make electronic copies of these publications available for direct download. Make sure your publisher allows such self-archiving before sharing your work.

Compliance with Publisher’s Policies

If your manuscript is published or will be submitted for publication, check the publishers’ policies on self-archiving prior to disseminating your work. Authors are often unaware that they have signed an agreement prohibiting this form of distribution. Restrictions may apply in these aspects:

  • Article version
    Some journals may allow the distribution of pre-peer-reviewed copies but not the final published version. Click HERE for detailed explanations of article versions.
  • Embargo
    In some cases, journals impose an embargo period, meaning that the self-archived copy can only be released after a certain period of time following publication.
  • Credit line and indication of source
    Authors may be requested to add a remark to indicate and link to the source of the final published PDF.

In this table, you can find major publishers' standard policies on self-archiving. Note that this is only a summary of publishers’ guidelines. You are encouraged to look into individual journals for specific rules.

Publisher Policy Site Pre-print Post-print Publisher's version
Cambridge University Press Depends on journals
Elsevier Needs embargo
( Journal Embargo Finder )
Emerald Publishing
Oxford University Press Depends on journals
( Accepted manuscript embargo periods )
Springer Depends on journals / book / book chapters
Taylor & Francis Depends on journals
( Open access cost finder )
Wiley Depends on journals
( Author Compliance Tool )

Individual journal under listed publishers may have separate policies. You are advised to refer to the official journal website for most accurate and updated details. To know more about Self-Archiving Policy of other publishers / specific journals, perform a Search in SHERPA RoMEO, a database of publisher policies on open access and copyright issues

Lastly, if you find out that your publisher or journal prohibits self-archiving, you may initiate an agreement called author addendum with your publisher to retain your author’s rights.



To know more about Self-Archiving Policy of other publishers / specific journals, perform a Search in SHERPA RoMEO, a database of publisher policies on open access and copyright issues:

SHERPA/RoMEO uses Color Classification to help authors determine permissions.

RoMEO Colour Archiving policy
Green Can archive pre-print and post-print or publisher's version/PDF
Blue Can archive post-print (ie final draft post-refereeing) or publisher's version/PDF
Yellow Can archive pre-print (ie pre-refereeing)
White Archiving not formally supported

Authors who wish to publish a copy of their articles will want to look for journals classified as green or blue, then check on any additional restrictions.