What is self-archiving? What has to be considered? How can members of the University of Stuttgart use self-archiving?

What is self-archiving?

Self-archiving refers to making documents (e.g., research articles) that have already been published in another way (e.g., with a publisher)  additionally available in an Open Access repository. This can be used in particular to make a version of such works that have previously only been published in Closed Access permanently freely available to the public (e.g. postprints of journal articles). The term self-archiving sometimes also refers to making publications freely available on the author’s personal website.
Self-archiving is also referred to as "Green Open Access".

Self-archiving often takes place on institutional or disciplinary repositories. This can be done in parallel with the first publication or also with a time delay.

What do I need to consider?

If you can self-archive a document that has already been published elsewhere, depends on the agreements you have made with the publisher. Publishers usually claim the exclusive right of use and record that in the contract accordingly; in case of such a contract you have lost your simple right of use.

However, many publishers are increasingly open to self-archiving of scientific publications on institutional repositories. Usually, they allow this only under certain conditions, which are listed in the author contract and/or in the respective sharing policy.

Please take a close look at the publisher’s conditions regarding electronic self-archiving and check if it is permitted.
Also pay attention to which version (e.g. Accepted Version, Published Version) you can use for self-archiving and whether this can only be done after a certain embargo period.

The SHERPA/RoMEO list provides information on which publishers allow self-archiving on repositories and under which conditions. It is not legally binding, however; in case of doubt, the publisher’s contract always applies.


Right of self-archiving

Irrespective of the conditions in the publisher's contract, the amended German Act on Copyright and Related Rights (Section 38(4) UrhG) allows authors self-archiving of their publications under certain conditions since January 1, 2014.

  • The original publication results from a research project which is at least half financed by public funds.
  • And it has been published in a periodical appearing at least twice per year (e.g. journals).
  • Self-archiving can be made at the earliest 12 months after first publication.
  • It is only allowed to make the accepted manuscript version publicly available.
  • The source of the first publication must be cited.
  • And self-archiving is not for commercial purpose.

How can members of the University of Stuttgart use self-archiving?

As a member of the University of Stuttgart you are welcome to self-archive your articles and other research contributions via OPUS. The publication server of the University of Stuttgart offers all requirements for self-archiving.

Especially if the fees for an Open Access article were paid with funds from the Publication Fund of the University of Stuttgart, the funded article should be contributed to OPUS. But even if the publication fund is not used, we would like to ask the authors of the University of Stuttgart to contribute their publications to OPUS.

Procedure and information about publication types and files

Project DeepGreen

The University Library Stuttgart participates in the DeepGreen project as operator of the publication server OPUS.

With the help of a central "data hub," publications that are published open access or for which self-archiving is possible are collected from participating publishers (including MDPI, Frontiers, DeGruyter, Wiley) and distributed to institutional repositories eligible for self-archiving.

The full texts and metadata of the publications of authors of the University of Stuttgart provided by the publishers are automatically delivered to our publication server OPUS for self-archiving.

The authors of the University of Stuttgart do not have to do any additional work.


University of Stuttgart Library


Open Access Team

Holzgartenstr. 16, 70174 Stuttgart

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