“Going green”: self-archiving as a means for dissemination of research output in ecology and evolution

Christopher Hassall


There is a perception that is prevalent within the academic community that access to information is being restricted by the large publishing houses that dominate academic publishing.  However, self-archiving policies that are promoted by publishers provide a method by which this restriction can be relaxed. In this paper I outline the motivation behind self-archiving publications in terms of increased impact (citations and downloads of articles), increased access for the developing world, and decreased library costs.  I then describe the current state of self-archiving policies in 165 ecology and evolution journals.  I demonstrate that the majority (52%) of papers published in 2011 could have been self-archived in a format close to their final form.  Journals with higher impacts tend to have more restrictive policies on self-archiving, and publishers vary in the extent to which they impose these restrictions.  Finally, I provide a guide to academics on how to take advantage of opportunities for self-archiving using either institutional repositories or freely-available online tools.


open access; publishing; ecology; evolution; self-archiving; impact factor

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