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FAQ

If you have an enquiry please contact the edina helpdesk edina@ed.ac.uk (0131 650 3302).

Questions
  1. Who can use OpenDepot.org?
  2. Why should I make my papers Open Access?
  3. How can I make my research papers Open Access (OA)?
  4. Why should I use OpenDepot.org?
  5. Why not just put my article on my own website -- or on my department's website?
  6. How easy is it to use?
  7. What can I put in OpenDepot.org?
  8. Will my publisher allow me to do this?
  9. What if I have not yet signed a Copyright Transfer Agreement with my publisher?
  10. Can I set restrictions on my deposited item so that it is not available for Open Access download?
  11. Once I have my article in OpenDepot.org how can readers find it?
  12. Will my paper be preserved for the long-term?
  13. Where can I get more information about Open Access?

Answers
  1. Who can use OpenDepot.org?
    OpenDepot.org is available for all researchers worldwide who are based at a university, college or research institution without a local repository service easily available to them.
  2. Why should I make my papers Open Access?
    By making your peer reviewed e-prints Open Access you gain a far wider readership than if your article is only available through subscription journal. Studies have shown that citations for material made available through Open Access could rise dramatically -- up to 400% in some disciplines.
  3. How can I make my research papers Open Access (OA)?
    Many universities, colleges and research organisations have an OA repository. We have provided a facility for you to check if yours does.
  4. Why should I use OpenDepot.org?
    Because if you do have a OA repository at your university or college, we can re-direct you there - many repositories can appear hidden to their researchers. Because if you deposit in OpenDepot.org your material will be picked up by OA harvesters, and your institution could come and take a copy.
  5. Why not just put my article on my own website -- or on my department's website?
    Although your article will be readily available through your website it must take its place along with the billions of other web pages and references that exist on the web. By putting your material into an OA Repository (such as OpenDepot.org) it is more readily identified as being research material and will therefore be found more easily by academic search engines. This advantage holds true for general search services like Google as well. Although rankings are continually changing, tests generally show that material made available through a repository is shown far higher in Google rankings than material that is just on a normal web page.
    In addition, OpenDepot.org will provide a permanent citation for your e-print that will not give future readers a broken link.
  6. How easy is it to use?
    The process of depositing an e-print into OpenDepot.org is straightforward and quick. You need to register first and then follow a simple process which should take about 10 minutes per article.
  7. What can I put in OpenDepot.org?
    OpenDepot.org is designed for authors' peer reviewed material. Typically this will be an electronic duplicate of a peer-reviewed journal article. Preferably this will be the "author's final version" but can be the published PDF file if your publisher allows this. In either case this is the version of your article after all of the changes due to the peer review process have been incorporated into the text.
  8. Will my publisher allow me to do this?
    This depends on the Copyright Transfer Agreement that you have signed with your publisher. Most publishers allow some sort of self archiving. If you do not have a convenient copy of the contract that you signed with your publisher, then consult RoMEO, http://www.sherpa.ac.uk/romeo. This is a service that is run by SHERPA which lists the details of standard Copyright Transfer Agreements as they are given by different publishers. The database can be searched by publisher name or by journal title.
    If your publishing agreement does not allow you to deposit in a repository, it might be possible to negotiate with the publisher to give you a right to archive your article. In the first instance write to the editor of the journal in which you published your article and ask their permission.
    OpenDepot.org will also display the RoMEO record for the Publisher within the deposit process.
  9. What if I have not yet signed a Copyright Transfer Agreement with my publisher?
    If you have not yet published in the journal it might be possible to amend the Copyright Transfer Agreement which the publisher normally uses. JISC have produced a sample Copyright Licence Agreement which a publisher may accept.
    Publishers do not need a complete transfer of copyright in order to publish your article, they only need a non-exclusive licence to do so. This model licence allows the publisher to publish your article while allowing you to retain rights for your own use.
  10. Can I set restrictions on my deposited item so that it is not available for Open Access download?
    Yes. You can upload your e-print, fill in the citation fields, but set an option to make the document itself invisible. This option is available for authors who are not comfortable with the terms of Open Access or who are required by their publisher to wait a period of time (e.g. up to six months) before making their e-print available through Open Access. For restricted access items, if a user reads the citation metadata and wishes to receive a copy of the e-print, they will have the option of pressing a "Request e-print" button. This simply sends an email to the depositor of the item - you. You can then decide if the user should have access to the item, e.g. by sending them a copy by email. If you use the embargo feature as well as restricting access to the deposited item, you can set the exact time at which the document's embargo will expire and will become visible for Open Access, thus complying with your publisher's restrictions. For further information about restricted access features in EPrints software see http://www.eprints.org/news/features/request_button.php.
  11. Once I have my article in OpenDepot how can readers find it?
    There are browse and search functions freely available to all users. Material held within OpenDepot.org can be found through global search services like Google, Bing, or Google Scholar. There are also specialist search services which only search material held within academic repositories; an example of this would be the BASE search engine, http://www.base-search.net. One of the advantages of Open Access archiving are the innovative services which can be built on top of Open Access material. There is a JISC service called UK Institutional Repository Search which is building innovative services for discovery of UK research outputs.
  12. Will my paper be preserved for the long-term?
    The purpose of OpenDepot.org is to provide an Open Access repository for those academics whose institutions do not yet have a repository. OpenDepot.org would prefer to act as a keep-safe facility, until such time as authors have a repository to deposit in, and then would assist in transferring items to the authors new repository. Preservation policies and procedures at institutions will vary, but most repositories aim to archive digital materials for the long-term.
  13. Where can I get more information about Open Access?
    See the Self-Archiving FAQ maintained by EPrints.org at University of Southampton. Also, SHERPA maintains a page on Open Access Basics with links to further information.