Public response on behalf of SPARC, SPARC Europe and COAR regarding publishers self-deposit policies

Universities and research funders have a strong interest in ensuring that the results of the research that they support are made available for use by the widest possible audience, with minimal time delays. One of the main methods used to support this interest is the deposit of articles into online repositories. Many publishers require that articles that appear in their journals be made available only after an embargo period, clearly stated in their journal policies.

We have recently noted that some journal publishers have sought to negotiate individually with universities and research institutes, seeking toincrease embargo periods for authors depositing their articles (final version or pre-prints) into repositories, and requesting embargo periods that go beyond what is already stated in the publishers’ own policies.

We strongly urge institutions not to enter into individual agreements with publishers that supersede the existing policies of the publisher or any previous licensing agreements.

We also call on the publishers not to further hinder the deposit—and accessibility—of pre-prints with additional restrictions, regulations and policies. Proliferation of this practice will result in an environment that is confusing to navigate for end users, and increasingly difficult for individual institutions to effectively maintain.

We join JISC and others in speaking out against this and any other practice that result in a lengthening of delays for accessing articles in repositories, and urge other organizations concerned with ensuring timely access to scholarly articles to do the same..

COAR is the Confederation of Open Access Repositories, a not-for-profit association of repository initiatives that aims to enhance visibility and application of research outputs through global networks of Open Access digital repositories. (

SPARC and SPARC Europe aim to promote an open scholarly communication system through advocacy and education, lobbying activities, the promotion of new models and partnerships with all interested stakeholders. ( /

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