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How can I correctly manage my self-archiving & have more info about Open Access and Licenses?

The library staff kindly suggest SISSA users to read the contents of this page in the order they are presented.


   How to archive your publications in SISSA Digital Library: a little guide

Italian version

English version

What is Open Access?

Open Access is the immediate, online, free availability of research outputs without restrictions on use commonly imposed by publisher copyright agreements. The research outputs include peer-reviewed articles, conference papers, monographs and datasets of various kinds. Access to knowledge is essential in higher education and research: it increases more visibility both for the authors and the Institution, and promotes progress and innovation in our society. Furthermore, the more a scientific work is visible, the more it will be cited.
The European Community and funding agencies require open access to the scholarly outputs in compliance with the Budapest Open access Initiative (BOAI), the Berlin Declaration (2003), the UE legislation which Italian Law 7 Ottobre, 2013 n. 112. conformed to. In its Open Access policy for Horizon 2020, the European Commission explicitly asks to deposit the work in a repository and make it Open Access (after an embargo if necessary).

How can I make my work Open Access?

There are two main ways of making publications Open Access:

          European funding projects (e.g. H2020) require not only the O.A. publishing but also the self-archiving in an institutional or subject repositories.


What does “self-archiving” mean?

Self-archiving (the "Green road"): the author archives an electronic copy of the publication (preprint, postprint, publisher’s version when allowed) in the institutional repository (SISSA Digital Library) or subject repository (eg. arXiv, Pubmed, SCOAP3). The Sherpa/RoMEO site offers an overview of official publishers’ policies about self-archiving. Perform your search by Journal title or ISSN (international standard serial number), as individual journals may have special permissions, especially if they involve other organizations or have paid open access options. In any case some publishers allow to publish their PDFs in Repositories with no restrictions (see a list on SHERPA/ROMEO database). Other publishers set an embargo period as a condition.

What does "embargo period" mean?

“Embargo period” refers to a delay, if any, of up to 12 months following publication until full text is made available either on Institutional repository or Subject repository . This is set by the publisher and would be included in the copyright transfer agreement or an addendum to same.

Which version of the article can I archive?

  • Preprint: is a draft of an academic article or other publication before it has been submitted for peer-review.
  • Postprint: final manuscript of a peer-reviewed paper accepted for journal publication, including all modifications from the peer review process, but not yet formatted by the publisher.
  • Publishers’ PDF: in some cases it may be permitted.

What does “Open access publishing” mean?

Open access publishing (the "Gold road") : authors publish their works in open access Journals and the rights are usually retained by them. You can find a list of reliable Open Access Journals in the Directory of Open Access Journals.
Some publishers are now experimenting with hybrid journals: A hybrid open access journal is a subscription journal in which some of the articles are open access. This status typically requires the payment of a publication fee (also called an article processing charge or APC) to the publisher.

What does 'Paid OA' mean?

Paid OA refers to the Paid Open Access options provided by some publishers. These enable the authors to have their work provided in an open access manner or allow deposit in a repository in exchange for a fee. A list of the Publishers with Paid OA options are listed in SHERPA/RoMEO database.

What does 'Mandated OA' mean?

Mandated OA indicates whether the publisher policy complies with the relevant funding agency's open access requirements. SHERPA/JULIET may provide a summary of the relevant mandate.

Which kind of legal matters may I come across?

Authors own the original copyright to papers they write, and publishers need their permission to publish the paper. In author-publisher contracts, publishers often ask for transfer of the copyright, sometimes even when the paper is first submitted to the journal. Some publishers instead only ask for a non-exclusive license like Creative Commons licenses (then you are free to self archive your work). However, authors can manage to retain the copyright or to negotiate with the publisher in order to reuse his work with the ADDENDUM. The “addendum” is a legal instrument that modifies the publisher’s agreement and allows you to retain some of yours rights such as to place your paper in an Institutional Repository. The Author Addendum is a free resource developed by SPARC in partnership with Creative Commons and Science Commons, which are established non-profit organizations that offer a range of copyright options for many different creative endeavors.

Creative Commons licenses: how do they work?

Choosing Creative Commons licenses, the author retains copyright but gives the publisher a non-exclusive licence to publish his/her work. A suitable CC license can be chosen on LICENSE-CHOOSING TOOL.
By using Creative Commons licenses the authors allow certain uses of their work to third parties. CC uses three levels of “language”: embeddable metadata (machine readable), legal code layer, and commons deed (human readable). By looking at the symbols, or clicking on them, users understand what they can or cannot do without asking for the author’s written permission.

What Creative Commons License can I choose?

  • Attribution (CC BY)  
    This license allows for redistribution, commercial and non-commercial, as long as the work is passed along unchanged and in whole, with credit to you.
  • Attribution-NoDerivs (CC BY-ND) 
    This license allows for redistribution, commercial and non-commercial, as long as the work is passed along unchanged and in whole, with credit to you.
  • Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike (CC BY-NC-SA) 
    This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, as long as they credit you and license their new creation under the identical terms.
  • Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA
    This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work even for commercial purposes, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms. All new works based on yours will carry the same license, so any derivatives will also allow commercial use.
  • Attribution-NonCommercial (CC BY-NC) 
    This license lets others remix, tweak and build upon your work non-commercially, and although their new works must also acknowledge you and be non-commercial, they don’t have to license their derivatives work on the same terms.
  • Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs (CC BY-NC-ND) 
    This license is the most restrictive, only allowing others to download your work and share it with others as long as they credit you, but they can’t change it or use it commercially.