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For scientists

A roadmap to self-archiving

To begin, we recommend that you select one of your recently authored publications to use as you move through the following steps.


Step 1: Self-archiving 101

Brush up on the terms used throughout the publication process and different types of open access.

Image by Anthony Martino

Step 2: Find the copyright policies of your publisher or journal

All publishers have slightly different rules. But finding the rules, quickly, is actually very easy.

Image by Michał Parzuchowski

Step 3: Identify the version of the manuscript you can self-archive

This information will be in the copyright policy and may be one or more of the following:

- Submitted version​​ ("preprint")

- Accepted version ("postprint")

- Published or final version ("offprint")

Image by Estée Janssens

Step 4: Identify when you can self-archive

If applicable, this information will also be in the copyright policy. 

Some journals may place the accepted or publisher version of your manuscript under an embargo. This means you have to wait a specified amount of time before self-archiving.

Image by Pankaj Patel

Step 5: Identify where you can self-archive

Look for this information in the copyright policy and, depending on what's allowed, decide where is best for you.

Lab website, personal–professional website, or institutional repository?

Image by Glenn Carstens-Peters

Step 6: Self-archive your manuscripts!

Time to pull it all together.

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Advanced Options

Once you're successfully self-archiving, here's what to consider next.

Self-archiving checklist

We created a checklist of the steps for you to download and use!

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FAQ About CSDisseminate

Is CSDisseminate a repository where I can self-archive?

We are not a repository. Instead, we provide curated, educational resources to help you learn how to self-archive. You can learn about where to host your self-archived articles here.

Is there a membership cost associated with CSDisseminate?

We are not a paid service and we do not offer any kind of membership. We are a group of volunteers who are passionate about breaking down the barriers to accessing research. We provide educational resources to help CSD scholars learn how to self-archive.

FAQ for Scientists

My publisher doesn’t allow any versions to be hosted on a website, legally.

While this does happen infrequently, most publishers allow you to self-archive a version of your article. Look up your publisher’s rules, here.

Why should I bother self-archiving? This is a lot of work.

Because clinicians and international scientists want to read your work! And if they’re forced to buy the journal articles every single time, they could easily be spending hundreds of dollars per month.

Self-archiving is one of the easiest ways for scientists to participate in breaking down the barriers to clinical uptake of science.

I don't get to update my own university website.

You may be someone who should be building your own! We know it sounds intimidating. But this can be done in a day. The newest website builders are super user-friendly.

I can’t afford to make my journal article open access. Fees are in the thousands.

We encourage you to go green (free!) with self-archiving instead of paying fees for gold open access

It’s a waste of my time. People won’t search for or find my paper, anyway.

Many people don't search now because most scientists in our field don't self-archive reliably yet!

We're hoping to change that. We hope that the clinicians who regularly read research will direct their peer clinicians once it's made easier. And we promise to participate in the process of broadly teaching them how!

I just use my University repository. That'll work, right?

Yes! But if that’s what you’re using, make sure either: a) the papers in it are searchable from Google, or b) if not, you may still need a website with links to your repository. Insert the titles of your papers onto your professional/lab webpage, then link out to BOTH the original DOI and your University database.

Should I self-archive articles that are already publicly available?

If your article is already freely available to the public (i.e., "gold" open access), we recommend that you post the full citation and DOI link on your personal or institutional website. No need to upload anything; just send people there!

Ok, self-archiving my research sounds like a great idea! How do I get started?

See the For Scientists section in the menu above? Work your way through each of those steps, in order!

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