Open Access Subject Repositories

A subject repository is an online repository of open access literature dedicated to a specific field or discipline. Research works, such as journal articles, conference proceedings, working papers etc., are deposited by researchers based at any number of institutions and are often international in coverage.

These discipline-based repositories of research may be hosted by university libraries, university systems, multiple organizations, a consortium, a publisher, or a research centre. They are funded from one or more sources within the subject community including, federal, institutional, organizational, or by for-profit companies.

Deposit of content is voluntary and access to the research is free to everyone, from everywhere, no login is required.

Content-types Accepted in Subject Repositories

Subject repositories accommodate a range of content-types including:

  • Journal articles: primarily the accepted author manuscript, also pre-prints and publisher versions of published journal articles version – where publisher copyright policy allows
  • Working papers
  • Conference proceedings
  • Books and book chapters, book references and / or e-books - where publishers allow and where viable
  • PhD theses
  • Datasets linked to the publications that reference them.

Why Deposit to a Subject Repository

Depositing your works along-side your peers' in an appropriate subject repository greatly enhances the exposure of your research and provides increased exposure and citations world-wide via Google.

Deposit to an open access subject repository allows you to meet the open access requirements of the Tri-Agency.

What counts as a funder open access compliant subject repository?

If it’s listed in OpenDOAR, the ‘authoritative directory of academic open access repositories’, you can be confident it meets funder requirements on open access.

Finding a Repository in Your Discipline

In a number of disciplines, deposit to a subject repository is an established part of the scholarly communications and dissemination process.

Top Subject Repositories

Browse a selection of subject repositories.

For a comprehensive listing search OpenDOAR: Directory of Open Access Repositories.

Depositing Your Papers in a Subject Repository

Copyright & Publisher Permissions

Before depositing your paper to a subject repository, ensure you have permission from your publisher by:

Ensure you are depositing the correct version. Publisher agreements may allow you to deposit:

You Retain Your Copyright

On deposit to a subject repository you are not required to sign a copyright transfer agreement, however you will likely be required to agree to a non-exclusive right to distribute the submission online.

Deposit Policies

Repositories may not facilitate a formal peer-review process of works deposited, such as is undertaken by a scholarly subscription or open access journal upon final acceptance and publication of a paper, however they do moderate and review submissions before they are posted online to ensure authors have included detailed metadata about the works, scope etc.

Please refer to the unique deposit policy for the repository you are submitting to for more information.

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