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Depositing a document in an open archive: The steps of depositing a document

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

The ethical and legal rules to follow before depositing a document

To begin with, before depositing a document you must obtain the consent of your co-authors as regards both the text and the illustrations.

"Authors must ensure that they are authorised to copy and use the illustrations in the document. If you want to self-archive your thesis, for example, and it contains a picture taken by a colleague, you must ask for their permission to reproduce and disseminate this illustration before you can self-archive your thesis."

Before the document is published, authors have full copyright on their texts (NO CONTRACT has been signed with a publisher). Therefore, no restriction applies to the uploading of the document in an open archive. However, it is recommended to find out from the publisher to which you wish to submit an article whether or not an article already deposited in an open archive will be refused.

After the document has been published, UNDER contract:

  1. Unless otherwise stated in the contract, authors can upload the preprint and postprint versions of their documents to an institutional archive.

  2. When authors sign an exclusive copyright transfer agreement with the publisher or a provision pertaining to use of the document’s electronic version, the publisher’s consent is required before the document can be deposited and embargo rules may apply.

  3. Some publishers, such as EPD Sciences, prefer that researchers self-archive the final published version.

As soon as your manuscript has been published, it is recommended to:

  • Add the publication references and the DOI (Digital Object Identifier) link to the open archive. The DOI is a number (10.xxxx) that uniquely identifies the document’s electronic version.

  • Deposit the document with an option to defer access to comply with the publisher’s embargo.

Not to upload confidential documents (patents) or documents intended for sale (such as books).

Finally, you can view the conditions and restrictions pertaining to online dissemination on the publisher’s website or on the RoMEO database.


Auto-archivage et Revues ?

Currently, 93% of the journals allow self-archiving. Out of these, 63% allow the self-archiving of postprints. In SHERPA/RoMEO, publishers that allow the uploading of preprints are identified by the colours, yellow and green. Blue and green are used to identify publishers that allow the uploading of postprints. Finally, publishers that allow the uploading of preprints and postprints are called "green" publishers.

SourceThe CES’ documentation centre

Am I authorised to upload an article that has already been published in a journal?

Numerous scholarly journals now allow the uploading of "author" files (preprints and/or postprints) to open archives provided the purpose is purely scientific rather commercial.

Depositing is therefore possible when:

  • No contract for the transfer of copyright has been signed;

  • The signed contract does not include provisions for exclusive copyright transfer for all media or for the electronic medium;

  • The contract provides for the distribution of the document after a certain period of time (known as a moving wall): in that case, you can upload the document after the said period.


Logo Sherpa Romeo

However, when the contract contains an exclusive copyright transfer provision for all media or for online dissemination for the whole period of legal protection, you will have to contact your publisher to get its written consent before depositing your document. You can refer to your publisher’s current open access policy by visiting its website or dedicated websites:

To conclude, scholarly journals and commercial publishers only have the rights that authors have explicitly transferred to them by written contract.