Better visibility, more impact – and six other advantages of self-archiving

Self-archiving has many kinds of advantages, such as being free of charge and increasing visibility and effectiveness. This article briefly describes the most important advantages of self-archiving. This is the fourth part of Think Open blog’s article series on self-archiving.

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Self-archiving, why bother? What are the benefits and advantages? Here are the key reasons for self-archiving:

1. It is free of charge

Self-archiving is a way to make the content of the article openly available free of charge. The expenses incurred are from the working hours, but the researcher can minimise the use of his or her own working hours, if needed, by utilising the self-archiving service of the Helsinki University Library. In that case, the researcher only has to send the different versions of the article to be self-archived to the service address of the library (openaccess-info@helsinki.fi). The specialists of the library self-archive the article according to the conditions of the publisher. These conditions can be found in the Sherpa/Romeo service.

2. Articles stay safe and available

The self-archived article – or a version of it – gets a permanent address in the repository, which corresponds to the DOI address given to the publications. In the repository, the article and its address are preserved even when publication of the journal or the library’s subscription to it ends. With the help of the permanent address, the self-archived article and its reference information are easily found, and it is easy to cite the article.

3. Articles get more visibility and effectiveness

The self-archived version of the article brings additional visibility to an original article, which means it gets more readers and possibly more citations than a publication behind a publisher’s paywall. The articles in the repository can be found with, for example, Google or Google Scholar, which already guarantees good visibility.

When the publication has been first self-archived in the repository, its visibility and effectiveness can still be improved using social networking services for researchers, such as ResearchGate and Academia.edu. These services provide the opportunity for researchers to share and present their own publications. The uploading of the article into the social networking service always requires permission from the original publisher of the article. The publishers’ policies for social networking services can also be found in the Sherpa/Romeo service.

It is worth remembering that the permanent availability of publications, the use of the permanent identifiers and the harvesting of the description information of publications for the information systems are not necessarily realised in the researcher’s social networking service, unlike in the open repositories. The author’s rights are not preserved for publications that have been recorded in the researcher’s social networking service either.

4. Self-archiving meets the funders’ requirements

Several study funders, such as the Academy of Finland and the EU’s Horizon 2020 framework programme, require the open-access availability of the science publications which share the research results. The available financing is not always enough for the study to cover the author’s payment in the OA publication. On the other hand, among others, the Academy of Finland does not recommend hybrid publication because of the manifold expenses and the potential for misuse. Self-archiving offers a channel for free open publication, which funders also accept with certain conditions. For example, the criteria of the Academy of Finland are fulfilled by an accepted manuscript version which is self-archived and openly available.

The academy allows the delay of a maximum of 12 months for the openness of the publications in the humanities and social sciences and a delay of 6 months for other fields (read more from the Academy’s instructions).

5. Self-archiving fulfils the open publication criteria of the Ministry of Education and Culture

Self-archiving fulfils the open publication criteria set by the Ministry of Education and Culture. In the new financing model for universities, which becomes valid in 2021, openly available peer-reviewed publications will be weighted with a coefficient of 1.2. Consequently, open publication will bring more money to universities.

6. Self-archiving saves time and resources

Self-archiving serves as a handy way to save all one’s own publications on one place, usually in the repository of one’s own university. The links to the self-archived publications are – after the embargo set by the publisher – available in the research portal of the university through the researcher’s own profile. Thanks to this, the researcher does not necessarily need to maintain a publication list separately on his homepage or with another service.

The publication information that has been recorded in the publication archives is transferred to international research information collecting services with a broader reach, such as the OpenAIRE portal of the EU.

7. Research results will be used more widely

Self-archiving adds significantly to the open availability of research results. All those interested in research results can utilise them in whatever way they need. The openness of science benefits the areas of the economy, national health and society both nationally and internationally.


Articles published in this series:


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