Open Access

Information about Open Access to articles and other scholarly texts.

Why should I deposit my work in a repository?

Publishing a version of your works in freely-accessible repositories not only allows you to comply with any grant requirements for public access, it also promotes exposure for your work and ensures there is a safely archived, accessible copy available for anyone to read. Repositories provide a legal, free way for readers to access your work regardless of publisher paywalls. This activity is sometimes referred to as "self-archiving".

By using a repository, you can publish your work open access without paying an open access fee (also known as an Article Processing Charge or APC).  Most publishers allow authors to deposit a version (usually called a preprint) of their article freely in a publicly-accessible repository in order to increase access and impact of their work. This can be done whether or not deposit is required by the funding grant.

You can also deposit your work in a repository even if it has not been officially published. Consider depositing the following items into a repository to promote discoverability and readership of your work: manuscripts, white papers, policy documents, presentations, proceedings, data sets, films and other artwork, etc.

How do I know if my granting agency requires me to deposit my work in a repository? Does my agency require me to use a specific repository?

Use the Sherpa Juliet tool to review your funder's policies, and check your grant agreement.

What version of my work can I put into a repository?

When publishers allow deposit in a repository, they specify which version the author is allowed to deposit:

  • Preprint, a.k.a. original manuscript, Authors Original Manuscript (AOM), or submitted version—this is the original submitted version, before peer-review.
  • Authors Accepted Manuscript (AAM), a.k.a. post-print or accepted version—this is the version accepted by the publisher for publication; it has been peer reviewed and revised.
  • Published version, a.k.a. final published version or Version of Record (VOR)—final version the journal will post on its site and print in a paper issue; it has been peer reviewed, revised, copy-edited, includes metadata, and is branded with the journal information.

Your publisher might also impose a 6- or 12-month embargo on deposit of a preprint into a repository.

How do I know what kind of deposit my publisher will allow?

The Sherpa Romeo tool allows you to see policies by publisher and by specific journal title. Be sure to review your author agreement and/or publisher policy too.

As the author of the work, you retain copyright--and control--of the work until/unless you give it away. 

You can use the SPARC Author Amendment to retain your rights and make sure you have control over what you can do with your own works, including depositing in the repositories of your choice. Here's more information about how to use the SPARC Author Amendment.

How to find an appropriate repository

OpenDOAR is a directory of vetted publication repositories that can assist you in finding appropriate places to deposit a version of your works. Each repository has a different scope depending on subject area, the author's institutional affiliations, or the granting agency that funded the work.

Things to look for: 

  • Does the repository provide a DOI and a persistent URL?
  • Does the repository allow for any embargo period imposed by your publisher?
  • Is the repository discoverable through common search services such as Unpaywall and Google Scholar?
  • Does the repository allow for full-text searching of your work?
  • Does the repository allow for adequate metadata to link to the published version, your ORCID, etc?

Are you interested in repositories for data sets? See JHU's Data Management & Sharing Guide or ITHAKA's Primer on Data Repositories.

Biology researchers should check out this list of biology preprint servers:

Information on why ResearchGate and are social networking sites, not repositories:

You don't have to limit deposit into a single repository! Depositing a preprint in multiple locations increases the chances of discovery.

JHU's Institutional Repository: JScholarship

What is it?

JScholarship is designed to gather, distribute, and preserve digital materials related to the Johns Hopkins research and instructional mission. Content is deposited directly by Johns Hopkins faculty and staff, and includes born-digital or digitized research and instructional materials.

Why contribute?

  • Fast worldwide dissemination of your work
  • Indexing on Google, Google Scholar, and other specialty academic search engines
  • Increased visibility for research and teaching activities
  • Full-text search
  • Permanent unbreakable URLs
  • Safe long-term archiving

What to contribute:

All material should be scholarly or educational in nature and faculty sponsored. Examples include: working papers, technical reports, conference slides, proceedings, preprints, postprints, datasets, multimedia, podcasts, screencasts, animations, video lectures, learning objects, student research.

Automatic depositing in repositories

For more information about how the JHU Libraries can help you with your scholarly communications planning and questions, check out our Scholarly Communications page or email us at