SHERPA/RoMEO: Journal/Publisher Policy Directory




SHERPA/RoMEO is a website that allows you to look up the open-access related policies of journals and publishers.  While there is no substitute for a close reading of policies on a publisher's own website, S/R provides an efficient method of discovering whether a journal will allow you to share your published articles, and under what conditions they will allow that sharing.


What does "pre-print" and "post-print" mean?

Journals and publishers usually have restrictions about which version of your article you can share, and in what ways.  There are different terms used by different publishers to describe these different versions - "author accepted manuscript", "author's final version", "preprint", "postprint"...etc.

Usually, there is one primary distinction made, and it is explained on the SHERPA site:

"[...] this listing characterises pre-prints as being the version of the paper before peer review and post-prints as being the version of the paper after peer-review, with revisions having been made.

This means that in terms of content, post-prints are the article as published. However, in terms of appearance this might not be the same as the published article, as publishers often reserve for themselves their own arrangement of type-setting and formatting. Typically, this means that the author cannot use the publisher-generated .pdf file, but must make their own .pdf version for submission to a repository."


S/R says a publisher is "green" (or "blue" or "yellow" or "white")...?

These colors are used to quickly identify how restrictive (or open) a publisher's policy may be with regard to self-archiving (self-archiving refers to your ability to share/post your articles on certain websites).  Generally speaking, green is most permissive and yellow is most restrictive (white means the publisher doesn't have a clearly defined policy).