IEEE is a publisher

Publishing at the TU Berlin

Academic networks are very popular: The most well-known platforms are ResearchGate and, which according to their own information have over 15 million and 66 million members respectively. The principle is simple: As with other social networks, anyone can register free of charge and create their own profile. The platforms promise that you can network with colleagues, share publications with others, get statistics on views and citations of your own publications, find interesting positions, and much more.

“Share publications with others” suggests that academic networks also promote Open Access, and that those who publish their publications here publish Open Access. Those responsible for repositories often see things differently, as do we: Open Access publishing is about much more than just uploading PDFs! An article is truly Open Access if it is made available in a secure, standards-compliant and open archive.

The has an informative comparison of academic networks with open access repositories Office for Scholarly Communication the University of California Developed. It becomes clear that academic networks fulfill a completely different function than OA repositories - networking and profile building are in the foreground here. Criticisms of the existing networks include a lack of standardized interfaces, business models aimed at marketing user data and too loose handling of user data. In comparison, repositories operated by public institutions have the central task of making content available on a long-term basis. Content is given a permanent, quotable identifier (DOI or URN) and is still available after many years. The operators of the repositories provide open interfaces and work with digital long-term archives.

Despite all the criticism of ResearchGate and Co: If you use academic networks and also want to share the articles, what should be considered? We took a closer look at the conditions of five major science publishers *: Are authors allowed to make their articles available in academic networks?

[*] The information applies to closed access articles; If the articles are open access and have been published under a free license, they may be used under the terms of this license and then very likely also posted in academic networks.

[**] “Postprint” stands for the accepted manuscript version, i.e. H. the version of the contribution in which all changes from the review process have been incorporated; but not identical in typesetting and page counting to the published publisher's version. In contrast, “preprint” means the version originally submitted, the rough version of the article, so to speak.

The specifications of the publishers in detail:

  • DeGruyter allows authors of multiple author works (i.e. for articles in specialist journals, anthologies, edited volumes or databases) to share the manuscript or publisher version on their own website or the institutional repository 12 months after the initial publication. The amounts, on the other hand, may "not be entered in public and / or commercial thematic directories" (e.g. PubMed Central). The posting of full texts in academic networks is also not permitted; this was confirmed to us by the publisher upon request. (Source: DeGruyter Repository Policy, Open Access Policy, Informations Verlag)
  • Elsevier allows the submitted manuscript of a journal article (preprint) to be made available in full text at any time and anywhere. The final manuscript (postprint), on the other hand, may only be placed in an institutional or disciplinary repository 12 to 24 months after its first publication. Sharing in academic networks is therefore only allowed for the preprint, not for the postprint or even the publisher's version. (Source: Elsevier Sharing Policy, Policy FAQ: "Can I post my article on ResearchGate?".)
  • IEEE permits a manuscript version to be put online via institutional repositories. The submitted manuscript version (preprint) may also be placed in certain subject repositories (especially; after publication, however, this must be exchanged for the accepted manuscript (postprint). At the current time, the posting of full texts in academic networks is not permitted; this was confirmed to us by the publisher upon request. (Source: IEEE Electronic information dissemination policy, copyright form, FAQ on Authors ‘Posting of Accepted IEEE Papers, Informations Verlag)
  • Springer allows authors of Magazine articlesto put the submitted manuscript (preprint) online at any time on a preprint server and the peer-reviewed manuscript (postprint) 12 months after first publication on an institutional repository. Authors are now also allowed Book chapter put online in an institutional repository; an embargo period of 12 months (conference contributions, articles in magazine-like series) or 24 months (articles in anthologies) must be observed. The contributions may not be posted in academic networks. (Source: Springer Self-archiving Policy)
  • Taylor & Francis permits authors of journal articles (attention, different regulations apply to book chapters!) To put the submitted manuscript (preprint) and the peer-reviewed manuscript (postprint) online 12 to 24 months after first publication (depending on the journal) . Contributions may be posted in institutional or disciplinary repositories or academic networks. (Source: Taylor & Francis Sharing your work, Open Access journal finder)

The “How Can I Share It?” Page is intended to support authors in determining the conditions under which and on which platforms may be shared or disseminated for their contributions. This website is operated by the publishing association STM.

Our conclusion: Use the upload function in academic networks with caution - some publishers do not allow uploads for the publisher's version and for the manuscript version only after an embargo has expired; some publishers forbid uploads entirely. Use academic networks to network! And use non-commercial, open platforms for open access publishing (e.g. the institutional repository of the TU Berlin, DepositOnce), which ensure long-term free availability and archiving. We are happy to support TU members in checking which version you can make available in the repository and when!

Update 09/27/2018: This post was last updated on 09/27/2018 (information on Springer Policy, links updated, reference to "How Can I Share It?" Added).