Responsible sharing in scholarly networks

Sharing research and accomplishments with a wider audience makes you more visible in your field. This helps you get cited more, enabling you to cultivate a stronger reputation, promote your research and move forward in your career. Sharing your article is an important part of research and it’s important to share responsibly. Responsible sharing means knowing what you may share and where, which is not the same for every publication.

Before you post your article anywhere, you should look for a few things:

  • Does the publication agreement state that scholarly sharing is allowed?
  • Which version of the paper does it allow?
    • preprint (before peer review)
    • final draft (i.e. postprint, author’s final manuscript after peer review but before publisher copyediting)
    • publisher’s final version (the file you see on the publisher platform)
  • Where can the file be shared—author’s personal website, departmental website or institutional repository? Non-commercial site only?
  • Is there a waiting period (embargo) before the file can be shared?

Sherpa Romeo can be used for navigating academic publishers’ copyright and self-archiving policies when depositing scholarly articles e.g. in institutional repositories. Sharing in social networking services can’t be considered as self-archiving but Sherpa Romeo may offer information also about sharing policies on academic networking sites. Many publishers have restrictions about sharing articles on commercial social networks. Always make sure that you know which version (published, final draft or preprint) can be shared and if commercial social networks can be used.

Ways to share:

  • Sharing DOI (Digital Object Identifier) links is easy and the most responsible way to share. You may share a DOI link with anyone, on any platform and via any communication channel. However, access to full-texts may be limited.
    • How to do it? Copy the DOI of the document you want to share. For example, doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2011.03.031. The correct format for citing or creating a link is: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbr.2011.03.031
  • Sharing the version approved by the publisher.
  • Using ‘share link’ provided by the publisher.
  • If a publication displays an Open Access label, usually you can share according to the end user license:
    • CC-BY licensed articles may be shared with anyone, on any platform and via any communication channel.
    • CC-BY-NC-ND licensed articles may be shared on non-commercial platforms only.
    • More information about CC licenses: in Englishsuomeksi

Often you can share your preprint, article abstract or a DOI link to your article on scholarly collaboration networks, such as ResearchGate or Academia.edu. However, always check your publication agreement or publication policies on the publisher’s website.

Usually you may share your own publications privately, such as with individual colleagues via email for their scholarly or research use. You may also use your publications for classroom teaching and internal trainings at your institution or organisation, and include your publications for grant funding or patent application purposes.

Check the sharing policy of the publisher of your article. If you haven’t published yet, find a scientific journal of your discipline and check its sharing policy. Find out what can you share e.g. in Academia.edu or ResearchGate.

See also the publisher’s copyright and self-archiving policy via Sherpa Romeo.

Further information:

Elsevier. 2017. Sharing and promoting your article. Elsevier guidance.

How Can I Share it -service. Helps you get the most out of scholarly sharing. Find relevant information and practical tools to ensure your articles can be shared with your colleagues quickly and easily.

Responsible Research – Promoting responsible research at The Federation of Finnish Learned Societies. Coordination for Open Science, Publication Forum, The Committee for Public Information (TJNK), Finnish National Board on Research Integrity TENK and the Responsible Research Articles.

Smarty, A. 2014. How to make the most of sharing your articles on social media. Social Media Marketing -blog.

Ylönen, I. 2016. ResearchGate vai julkaisuarkisto – vai molemmat? (in Finnish)

(7/2021 KH)