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Have you ever asked yourself...

  • Why many of your published articles are only available to a small subset of people, even within your field, even though you write them to reach as many potential users as possible worldwide?
  • Why the government and foundations fund your research, you give it away so other researchers can apply, use and build upon it, and then only those researchers can access it whose institutions can afford the journal it is published in?
  • Why your institution can afford fewer and fewer journals every year? (
  • Why not only researchers, but patients and the general public cannot hope to access nearly the entire corpus of your work without prohibitive per-article costs?
  • Why you don't retain the copyright to the work you struggled to produce?

The Self Archive Campaign asks one thing:

"When asked by a colleague to send a copy of one of your articles, simply self-archive ( the article instead. That is, deposit the postprint ( in an open-access OAI-compliant archive ( at your institution or in your discipline. Self-archiving takes about as much time ( as sending a single copy to a single colleague. But instead of making your work available to colleagues one at a time, and multiplying your labor by the number of colleagues who ask for copies, make your work available to everyone ( through a single act of OA self-archiving." (1) (

92% of all journals have already given their green light to author self-archiving ( For the remaining 8% you can either ask, or just go ahead and self-archive, as hundreds of thousands of self-archivers have already done for a decade and a half, and wait to see whether anyone has any objections.

What archives are out there?

A complete definitive list of OA archives does not yet exist, but GNU EPrints ( provides a list of the 160+ archives using GNU Eprints software ( as well as the 90+ archives using DSpace software ( It also maintains the Institutional Archives Registry (IAR) of the 460+ known OA Archives of all kinds ( Your institution may very well already have its own OA archive; if you cannot find one at your own institution, the IAR also lists 55 cross-institutional repositories ( that you can use in the meantime -- but do also urge your own institution to create an OAI-compliant institutional OA archive ( as well as to adopt an institutional self-archiving policy ( as recommended by the JISC Technical Report on central vs. institutional self-archiving (

What can you do to help?

  • Self-archive your papers instead of just e-mailing them to colleagues and requesters. Respond to reprint requests by just sending the link to your self-archived eprint. You'll save time ( responding to future requests, and the potential readership of your papers will be dramatically increased. (
  • Publish in Open Access journals ( where possible.
  • Hang posters in the halls of your institution and encourage others to do the same. Consider making other posters and submitting them. (
  • Read worthy Open ( Access ( journals ( and cite worthy papers in them.
  • Learn ( more ( and more (
  • Help start an OAI-compliant archive at your institution. ( If your institution already has such an archive, help publicise it among your colleages and in the campus paper and encourage your institution to adopt a self-archiving policy along the lines recommended by the UK Select Committee (, the Berlin Declaration ( and Research Councils UK (RCUK) (
  • If you are new to open access, see Peter Suber's Open Access Overview (, le site francophone ( de Hélène Bosc, or the JISC Open Access FAQ ( If you are new to self-archiving, see the BOAI's Self-Archiving FAQ (

Posters to hang in the halls of academe

  • Switch. (

Submit your own poster. ( By submitting, you agree to license your work under the CC Attribution-ShareAlike license unless other arrangements are made.

Be sure to log your work in our tracking wiki when you hang posters.


(1) "What you can do to promote open access," Peter Suber, 2005. (

(2) "American Scientist Open Access Forum" ( Continuous since 1998

(3) Journal self-archiving policy summary statistics. ( June 2005

(4) Current list of Institutions with official self-archiving policies (

(5) BOAI Self-Archiving FAQ (