Posting academic papers to your own site or

I’ve recently posted some older articles to and to my own site. This is something for which the copyright issues can still be a little murky.

Elsevier made news last year when it sent takedown notices to scholars who had posted materials on I noticed that several senior scholars in the humanities had posted very recent journal articles to, however.

  • Some journals will not permit you to have the articles on your site without the payment of an open access fee, which, when I’ve checked it out, is often $3,000+ for a single article.  That may be fine for the sciences, where grants can be had, but it’s an impossible fee for the humanities.
  • Other journals will permit you to have an older article at your own site but not at
  • Some allow you a “pre-refereed” version but not a version after it has been refereed and set in type. This seems to mean that you can post your manuscript, but since it will not have citable page numbers, your readers will still have to go to the journal site to read and cite your work.
  • Others allow a “pre-print” version set in type.
  • If a journal is published by a press that participates in Digital Commons, as the University of Nebraska Press does, then articles older than the most recent issue are freely available but have to reside at that site.

A useful site in this regard is Sherpa/Romeo at, which will tell you the policies of the journal. You can also contact the journal editors directly and get permission, of course, which is what I did with the Legacy articles.

It seems to me that anything that gets the word out on a book of essays or an article in a journal, especially if the article was published more than 2 years ago, would be beneficial for the journal or book as well as those who want to cite the work.


One thought on “Posting academic papers to your own site or

  1. Pingback: MLA Humanities Commons | Donna M. Campbell

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