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)
    • postprint (i.e. final draft, 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?

The SHERPA/RoMEO service is an essential, standard tool for researchers for easily navigating academic publishers’ copyright and self-archiving policies when depositing scholarly articles in institutional repositories. Self-archiving policies can also be applied for sharing publications in social networking services if publishers don’t have specific requirements concerning posting on public platforms. To secure responsible sharing, the author must always check the policies of the publisher.

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.

  • 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:

If a publication displays an Open Access label, 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 lincenses: in English, suomeksi.

Commonly you can share your preprint, article abstract or a link to your article on scholarly collaboration networks, such as ResearchGate or Mendeley. However, always check your publication agreement or publication policies on SHERPA/RoMEO / publisher’s website.

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 or ResearchGate.

See also the publisher’s self-archiving policy via SHERPA/RoMEO.

Further information:

The Finnish National Board on Research Integrity (TENK) & The Committee for Public Information (TJNK). 2018. Responsible Research – Guide to Research Integrity, Research Ethics and Science Communication in Finland.

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.

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)

Coalition for responsible sharing

(8/2019 TO)