Main Article Content
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.
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