Refereed Postprints vs. Unrefereed Preprints: Obligate vs. Optional

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Tue, 9 Jun 2009 06:53:37 -0400

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Universities should (1) mandate (require) that all refereed final
drafts (postprints) are to be deposited in their IRs immediately upon
acceptance for publication, and (2) strongly recommend that access to
the deposit should immediately be set as Open Access (OA) unless the
author has contractually agreed to an OA embargo, in which case
access to the deposit may be set as Closed Access for the duration of
the embargo.
On no account should a university mandate (require) that unrefereed
drafts (preprints) should be deposited or made OA. That option should
be left entirely to the author. (Preprint deposit and OA-setting
should of course be allowed; it simply must not be required.)

(Note, though, that sometimes there is confusion about what
"preprint" means: Some take it to refer to the author's final
refereed draft, as opposed to the publisher's PDF. In that case, of
course, the final draft should indeed be deposited.)

Stevan Harnad
American Scientist Open Access Forum

Chaire de recherche du Canada Professor of Cognitive Science    
Institut des sciences cognitives Electronics & Computer Science
Universite du Quebec a Montreal University of Southampton         
Montreal, Quebec Highfield, Southampton
Canada  H3C 3P8 SO17 1BJ United Kingdom

On 9-Jun-09, at 6:26 AM, Conway, Nicola wrote:

      Dear All,
We are currently in the project phase of setting up an
Institutional Repository at Teesside University and were
discussing an issue in one of our Project Team meetings
yesterday which I hope you can help with.
There was a concern raised over whether we would want to
include the pre-print full text version of an item in the
repository, if that is all the publisher would allow, as these
documents wouldn?t have been through the peer-review process
and as such may have been altered quite significantly in the
final version.
I was just wondering what other institutions did with regards
to providing the full text of items when the publisher will
only allow the pre-print to be deposited? Do you include
pre-prints? Is this issue something that you come across
Any help that you can provide would be much appreciated.
Best wishes,
Nicola Conway
Senior Information Officer (Elibrary),
Library & Information Services.
Received on Tue Jun 09 2009 - 12:42:01 BST

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