Current Earth Sciences Library News, No. 493, the colour coded edition

Open Access – Self-archiving in 3 Qs & As

This week I’d like to try give a simple explanation of the role of self-archiving in open access publishing.

First off, What is self-archiving? Simply put it is the process of depositing a digital copy of a document in a publicly accessible website. This web site could be an institutional repository like our own Publications Database or the University’s Dspace, or a subject repository such as arXiv  or even on a personal server e.g. Martin Dove.
Secondly, Am I not prohibited by copyright law from doing this? Won’t I get sued by the publishers? No. Not if you follow the rules. The key point is in the description: ‘depositing a digital copy‘,  we may think of digital copies of papers or articles in terms of a pdf downloaded from a journal web site, but that’s a narrow view of things. What about that first or final draft submitted? They both are digital copies. And it is generally those copies which can be deposited on publicly accessible web sites. Increasingly journals are developing reasonable self-archiving policies which allow authors to make their own work & research freely available as long they don’t post the final publisher’s copy .
How do I know if the journal I’m going to publish in allows self archiving? The answer is: Sherpa/RoMEO ( I’ve mentioned this site before and it remains the best resource for discovering what a publisher or journal’s policy is towards self-archiving. From the home page just enter the title of the  journal you want to know about in the search box They’ve broken down the policies into 4 categories, and below is a simple and  brief description of each:
green:   can archive pre-print and post-print or publisher’s version/PDF

blue :    can archive post-print (ie final draft post-refereeing) or publisher’s version/PDF

yellow:   can archive pre-print (ie pre-refereeing)

white:     archiving not formally supported

Searching is extremely simple

The results are also clearly laid out.

So why aren’t all academic authors self-archiving and reaping the benefits of greater exposure (= more citations)? I think there’s two main issues to deal with. Firstly, I think, is a level of uncertainty about what exactly a pre-print or post-print  copy means and the perceived dangers of getting it wrong; what if I post a copy of a paper I wrote believing I had the right to but didn’t, I’m going to get sued am I not? My opinion is that this is unlikely to happen as if a mistake is made in good faith, the first legal remedy would be to correct that mistake – in this case remove the paper from its open access server – and there would be little scope for any claim for damages. To confirm this belief I’ve also done a (quick) trawl for law reports of any such action being taken and have found nothing, and considering the large number of papers available from repositories all over the world, it would have come to light if publishers were suing individual authors.

The second issue as I see it is one of behaviour or habit. I’ve occasionally asked members of staff for pre-print or post-print copies of their papers only to be told that they don’t have one. Frequently the reason for this is that the first author or corresponding author was the last person to deal with a completed paper and they are not in the department. Or the on-line submitting process is so complex that it doesn’t lend itself to creating a single document which could be used for self-archiving.

I thought it might be interesting to note what ‘colour’ grade the journals are in publications listed for this edition so I’ve noted it at the end of each citation. I may do this from now on, time and enthusiasm will tell.

How much coverage does Earth Sciences get in the press? 

According to an article in this month’s GeoScientist “UK national papers cover more Earth science than physics and chemistry rolled into one”.  There’s a pie charts aswell.


I find this wind map of the USA both attractive and repellent, but worth sharing. Click on the image to see it move.

Publications Brand New to eprint

Bristowe, N. C. and Fix, T. and Blamire, M. G. and Littlewood, P. B. and Artacho, Emilio (2012) Proposal of a One-Dimensional Electron Gas in the Steps at the LaAlO_{3}-SrTiO_{3} Interface. Physical Review Letters, 108 (16). p. 166802. (This is a RoMEO green journal)

Carrano, Matthew T. and Benson, Roger B. J. and Sampson, Scott D. (2012) The phylogeny of Tetanurae (Dinosauria: Theropoda). Journal of Systematic Palaeontology, 10 (2). pp. 211-300. ISSN 1477-2019 EISSN: 1478-0941 (This is a RoMEO yellow journal)

Feist, R. and McNamara, K. J. (2012) Patterns of evolution and extinction in proetid trilobites during the Late Devonian mass extinction event, Canning Basin, Western Australia. Palaeontology . (In Press) (This is a RoMEO yellow journal)

Goodwin, Philip (2012) An Isopycnal Box Model with predictive deep-ocean structure for biogeochemical cycling applications. Ocean Modelling, 51 . pp. 19-36.(This is a RoMEO green journal)

Harmon, Nicholas and Henstock, Timothy and Tilmann, Frederik and Rietbrock, Andreas and Barton, Penny (2012) Shear velocity structure across the Sumatran Forearc-Arc. Geophysical Journal International, 189 (3). pp. 1306-1314. ISSN 1365-246X (This is a RoMEO yellowjournal)

Hartley, M. E. and Thordarson, T. (2012) Formation of Öskjuvatn caldera at Askja, North Iceland: Mechanism of caldera collapse and implications for the lateral flow hypothesis. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 227–228 . pp. 85-101. ISSN 0377-0273 (This is a RoMEO green journal)

Holness, M. B. and Cesare, B and Sawyer, EW (2011) Melted Rocks under the Microscope: Microstructures and Their Interpretation. Elements, 7 (4). pp. 247-252.(This is a RoMEO ungraded journal)

Holness, Marian B. and Humphreys, Madeleine CS and Sides, Rachel E. and Helz, Rosalind and Tegner, Christian (2012) Towards an understanding of disequilibrium dihedral angles in mafic rocks. Journal of Geophysical Research . (In Press) (This is a RoMEO green journal)

McElwaine, Jim and Takagi, Daisuke and Huppert, Herbert (2012) Surface curvature of steady granular flows. Granular Matter, 14 (2). pp. 229-234. ISSN 1434-5021 (This is a RoMEO green journal)

McNamara, K. J. (2012) Prehistoric fossil collectors. GeoScientist, 22 (5). pp. 14-19. ISSN ISSN: 0961-5628, ESSN: 2045-1784 (This is a RoMEO green journal)

McNamara, K. J. (2012) Heterochrony: the evolution of development. Evolution: Education and Outreach . ISSN ISSN: 1936-6426 (print version) ISSN: 1936-6434 (electronic version) (In Press) (This is a RoMEO green journal)

Myhill, R. (2011) Constraints on the Evolution of the Mesohellenic Ophiolite from Subophiolitic Metamorphic Rocks. Geological Society of America Special Papers, 480 . pp. 75-94. ISSN 0072-1077(This is a RoMEO white journal)

Sookias, Roland B. and Butler, Richard J. and Benson, Roger B. J. (2012) Rise of Dinosaurs Reveals Major Body-Size Transitions Are Driven by Passive Processes of Trait Evolution. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 279 (1736). pp. 2180-2187. (This is a RoMEO ungraded journal)

Now Published 

Harvey, T. H. P. and Ortega-hernandez, J. and Lin, J-P and Yuanglong, Zhao and Butterfield, Nicholas J. (2011) Burgess Shale-type microfossils from the middle Cambrian Kaili Formation, Guizhou Province, China – Acta Palaeontologica Polonica. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica, 57 (2). pp. 423-436. ISSN ISSN: 0567-7920 EISSN: 1732-2421(This is a RoMEO blue journal – this is an open access journal)

Koelemeijer, P. J. and Deuss, A. and Trampert, J. (2012) Normal mode sensitivity to Earth’s D” layer and topography on the core-mantle boundary: What we can and cannot see. Geophysical Journal International . ISSN Online ISSN: 1365-246X (This is a RoMEO yellow journal)

McNamara, K. J. and Long, J. A. (2012) The Role of Heterochrony in Dinosaur Evolution Kenneth J. McNamara and John A. Long. In: The complete dinosaur. Life of the Past . Indian University press, Indiana, pp. 779-802. ISBN 978-0-253-35701-4

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