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On average, more than 4000 UvA theses are downloaded daily from UvA-DARE by users worldwide. This figure might even increase, if PhD students at UvA would realise earlier what the choice for a specific publisher entails.

UvA-DARE is the platform used by the university to present its academic publications and, if copyright allows, also the full text. Many universities have similar institutional repositories.

Doctoral students often discover only at a very late stage that a (potential) publisher prohibits immediate publication of a completed thesis in digital form in a repository. Frequently, it turns out that full online publication is impossible, because a student has not or insufficiently negotiated with the publisher.

The requirements set by traditional publishers regarding the reuse in institutional repositories vary greatly as far as embargo, versions and place of publication are concerned. Most publishers allow a post-print (the definitive text in the author’s lay-out) to be published in UvA-DARE. However, they may make certain stipulations, such as an embargo period. A temporary embargo can be arranged per chapter in UvA-DARE.

Saskia Woutersen, specialist electronic publishing at the UvA/HvA Library, advises doctoral students: ‘As regards the visibility of your publications, it is important to find out at an early stage what the requirements of your publisher are concerning online publication.’ By means of colour coding, the SHERPA/RoMEO site provides clear insight into the requirements set by a large number of journals.

Open access

Open access publishers such as PLoS, BMC and Frontiers are always agreeable to online publication by the author him or herself. Open access means making academic information digitally available without any restrictions. The UvA Library supports open access publishing, for science and scholarship benefit if the results of research become available quickly and free to one and all.

Examples of stipulations made by traditional publishers

The stipulations which traditional publishers make in relation to online publication by the author him or herself, vary in the following aspects:

  • Differences in embargo regulations: Elsevier has various embargo periods, some up to 48 months. With Springer it is one 1 year and for Nature 6 months.
  • Differences in versions: many publishers allow the post-print version to be put online, but Cochrane, for example, does not: this publisher only allows publication in the publisher’s lay-out.
  • Differences in place of publication: some publishers allow a post-print to be made public on an author’s personal page, but not in a repository, e.g. the American Association of Immunologists (publisher of the Journal of Immunology).