Psychology and self-archiving

From: Christopher D. Green <christo_at_YORKU.CA>
Date: Sun, 12 Aug 2001 19:32:02 -0400

The following mesage was originally sent to the people who are
beta-testing my soon-to-be-launched History and Theory of Psychology
E-Print Archive (HTP Prints, for short). Stevan thought it might be of
interest to this group as well, and has asked me to forward it.

The "APA" mentioned in it is the American Psychological Association. To
give you some background, historically the APA has been quite
restrictive in their attitude toward electronic self-archiving. About
two years ago they sent a note around to their (~150,000!) members and
affiliates saying any paper that had been electronically posted would be
considered "previously published" and therefore not eligible for
consideration by any APA journal (there are dozens of them, and they are
often the most influential journal in their particular field). In
January 2001, however, they allowed authors of articles published in APA
journals to post electronic versions THREE YEARS after they had been
print-published. Then, just this past June, they revised their policy to
allow authors to post their own articles to thei own personal website
(but NOT to "third-party" sites, such as electronic archives) as soon as
they had been accepted for publication. That ought to be enough to give
you the flavor of the current situation in psychology.

Christopher D. Green
Department of Psychology
York University
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
phone:  416-736-5115 ext. 66164
fax:    416-736-5814
About 10 weeks ago I told you about my new History & Theory of
E-Print Archive (HTP Prints -- Several of
have since deposited documents, but some have also expressed concern
the possibility violating either copyright or APA publication policies
doing so.
I am happy to announce that as of 1 June 2001, the APA has liberalized
policy regarding the posting of articles published in their journals on
the internet. The full policy can be found at In essence it says that
can post electronic copies of their own articles on their own websites
soon as the article has been accepted for publication in any APA-owned
journal (such as History of Psychology), but not on third-party
At first glance, this might seem to exclude HTP Prints, but there is an
way to obtain the benefits of posting on HTP Prints (e.g., wider
distribution, easier access) without running afoul of the APA policy.
First, post an electronic version of your article to your own website.
Then, instead of posting your article directly to the HTP Prints site,
only a small web page containing a link to the version on your own
(see for an
In this way, the article itself will appear only on your own website, in
accord with the APA policy, but a link to it will appear on the HTP
site. The link will be catalogued on the site accoring to author, topic,
etc. so that users of the HTP Prints site will be able to locate the
just as easily as if it were on the site itself.  In addition, a copy of
article's abstract and references will appear on the HTP Prints site as
to help users decide if they wish to read it.
Note that this applies not only to future papers published in APA-owned
journals, but also to any you have published in the past.  The policy at
Wiley (publisher of the Journal of the History of the Behavioral
is very similar (see Section C, Paragraph 1 of the Wiley "Copyright
Agreement"). I am currently checking with Sage (publisher of Theory &
Psychology and of History of the Human Sciences) to see what their
policy is. I will let you know as soon as I find out myself.
I encourage to take advantage of this opportunity as soon as possible. I
will be officially launching the HTP Prints site at the APA Convention
this month (see the Fri. 5:00 Conversation Hour entitled, "Electronic
Publication for History and Philosophy of Psychology" in Hilton Hotel
Yosemite Rm. A). I very much hope to see your work on (or linked to) the
Prints site by that time.
Best regards,
Christopher D. Green
Department of Psychology
York University
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
phone:  416-736-5115 ext. 66164
fax:    416-736-5814
Received on Wed Jan 03 2001 - 19:17:43 GMT

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