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
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:
- Checking your publisher agreement - do they allow 'Green Open Access' by deposit to a subject or institutional repository?
- Checking the Sherpa/Romeo database of publisher copyright policy permissions.
Ensure you are depositing the correct version. Publisher agreements may allow you to deposit:
- Submitted Author Manuscript: paper before peer review
- Author Accepted Manuscript: paper after peer-review, with revisions included
- Published Version of Record: final published paper formatted for publication.
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.
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 onlineto 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.