The SHERPA RoMEO service runs the catalogue of agreements between publishers and publication authors.

Use the service to find a summary of permissions that are normally given as part of each publisher's copyright transfer agreement.

Currently the service covers over 900 publishers. The table blelow shows statistics on March'21 2011 (Current statistics).

Color Archiving policy Publishers %
green can archive pre-print and post-print 241 26
blue can archive post-print (ie final draft post-refereeing) 269 29
yellow can archive pre-print (ie pre-refereeing) 81 9
white archiving not formally supported 352 37

Pre-print and Post-print

The terms pre-print and post-print are used to mean different things by different people. This can cause some confusion and ambiguity.

One usage of the term pre-print is to describe the first draft of the article - before peer-review, even before any contact with a publisher. This use is common amongst academics for whom the key modification of an article is the peer-review process.

Another use of the term pre-print is for the finished article, reviewed and amended, ready and accepted for publication - but separate from the version that is type-set or formatted by the publisher. This use is more common amongst publishers, for whom the final and significant stage of modification to an article is the arrangement of the material for putting to print.

Such diverse meanings can be confusing and can change the understanding of a copyright transfer agreement.

To try to clarify the situation, 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.

Having said that, some publishers insist that authors use the publisher-generated .pdf - seemingly because the publishers want their material to be seen as a professionally produced .pdf that fits with their own house-style.

This listing tries to separate out the differing definitions and conditions implied by the use of the terms within each publisher's copyright transfer agreement and categorises the permissions and conditions accordingly.