What happens in self-archiving?


Self-archiving, or saving the full text of a publication in the university's repository for public access, is an excellent way to open up publications originally published behind paywalls. It also increases the visibility of the publication and ensures its long-term accessibility. Self-archiving is also financially beneficial. Peer-reviewed, scientific publications receive a funding incentive factor of 1.2 from the Ministry of Education and Culture if they are published Open Access or self-archived. But what does the library staff do in self-archiving publications?

Library experts self-archive CC-licensed publications when their information is added to the UTUCRIS research information system. For publications without a license, the aim is to archive the latest peer-reviewed manuscript. These have the same content as the final publication, including any changes made during peer review, but lack the publisher's layout and logos. Manuscripts are collected through a publication information form and with an automatic message sent to researchers when the publication is validated in UTUCRIS. The manuscripts sent by our researchers therefore play a crucial role in disseminating scientific publications to a wider audience and advancing Open Science.

The self-archiving process often begins with wondering which version of the publication is at hand. Reaching a conclusion can sometimes be quite challenging. This is the case especially when manuscripts are written using a template provided by the publisher, and they closely resemble the published version. Proof versions also cause confusion.

Researchers don't have to worry about whether the publisher allows self-archiving, as the library always checks the publisher’s permissions. The researchers are therefore always welcome to send their manuscripts, and the library takes care of the rest. Most publishers allow self-archiving of the final manuscript. The library uses the Sherpa Romeo service and publisher websites as information sources. If this information is not available, the publisher is contacted. However, responses are not always received, especially from smaller publishers. The obtained responses are recorded in a file jointly compiled by Finnish university libraries for future use.

A cover page is attached to the manuscripts, providing valuable metadata to the future user of the self-archived copy. The cover page includes publication reference details (e.g., DOI) and information on the version of the publication. If necessary, a specific clause can be added to comply with the publisher's conditions.

Self-archived publications get broad visibility

Library experts check from the publisher's terms if the public visibility of the self-archived copy needs to be delayed. The delay, or embargo, is often 12 months, sometimes even 36 months. The delay is set in UTUCRIS as the file is saved there. The delay does not prevent receiving the funding incentive from the Ministry of Education and Culture. After the embargo, the self-archived copy becomes publicly visible in the university's Research Portal and the open publication repository UTUPub.

Self-archived copies are downloaded from UTUPub 20,000 - 30,000 times monthly. The most downloaded copy is the article "A Reflective Cycle: Understanding Challenging Situations in a School Setting", which has been downloaded more than 7,000 times!

Self-archived copies receive wide visibility as they can be found via search engines like Google and Google Scholar, and a link to them is visible in the national Research.fi portal. Links to self-archived copies have also recently been added to the PubMed database as a result of the joint, long-lasting effort by our researchers and library staff.

Any questions? Contact the library at researchportal@utu.fi

Created 04.10.2023 | Updated 04.10.2023