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Depositing a document in an open archive: Who? What? Where?

Benefits, issues and steps of depositing a document in an open archive

Who can upload texts to an open archive?

All members of the scientific community can upload documents in compliance with the rules established by their organisations and the targeted archive. Some platforms are based on self-archiving that may or may not be monitored by librarians (most often, these latter add to or correct metadata, which are the data that describe the record).


What are the documents that can be deposited in an open archive?

The quality of the texts must be equivalent to that of the articles that authors submit to field-specific scholarly journals.

More broadly, the "author’s" versions of the following documents can be deposited:

  • Unpublished documents (theses, communications, working papers, etc.).

  • Preprints, postprints and publications (journal articles, chapters of a book, etc.)

  • A simple bibliographic record with the publication references of an article or a published book, but without the full text.

Three versions of a text can be identified:

  • Final published version: version of the text as published with the publisher’s layout. It is the version to be preferred for all publishers that accept that this version be used.

  • Author’s Postprint: version of the document as published but without the publisher’s layout.

  • Author’s Preprint: version of the document that hasn’t yet been approved by the publisher.

The "postprint" and "final published" versions are always preferred, but the choice of the version to be deposited may depend on conditions imposed by the publisher.

Can I commission someone to upload references on my behalf?

Yes! Authors can commission an agent/contributor (documentalist, librarian, laboratory secretary) to submit texts on their behalf. In any case, authors remain entirely responsible for the uploading of their work and must ensure the information provided is accurate.

Selecting the open archive in which to upload a document

The choice of open archive is dependent on your organisation’s policy (view the list of mandates for the various institutions).

If the policy hasn’t been formalised, it is recommended to upload the document in an open archive that is dedicated to your field (refer to the OpenDOAR directory) or in a high-visibility open archive (multidisciplinary or having worldwide audience). Here are a few examples: ArXiv, HAL, Pubmed (also refer to the ranking of open access repositories).

Cartographie des archives ouvertes dans le monde

What are the accepted formats?

In order to ensure optimal preservation, the recommended format for depositing files is the PDF (Portable Document Format).

Basic files, namely Word, OpenOffice and Excel files, can be safely converted to PDF format using PDFCreator (free), before being deposited.

Nevertheless, other common formats (.doc, .odt, LaTeX, etc.) are also supported.

HAL - Hyper Articles en Ligne

HAL, authoritative open archive in France



Types of documents accepted in the HAL (French open archive)

  • Articles in peer-reviewed journals.

  • Articles in non peer-reviewed journals.

  • Invited presentations.

  • Conference proceedings.

  • Conference communications.

  • Scientific books.

  • Scientific book chapters.

  • Direction of work.

  • Patents.

  • Other publications.

  • Theses.

  • HDR theses (research direction qualification).

  • Courses.

  • Research reports.

  • Documents without a publication reference.