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Self-Archiving in Digital Commons: Workflow

The purpose of DigitalCommons@UMaine is to provide long-term access to the scholarly and creative output of University of Maine faculty and staff. Consult this suite of tutorial pages to learn how to archive your work.

Step-by-Step Workflow

Copyright symbol  Copyright permissions must be established prior to uploading full-text articles and other works to DigitalCommons@UMaine.

Step 1: Create a bibliography of works for submission. For guidance with this step, visit the Get Started tab.

Step 2: Confirm each submission was created while the author/creator worked or studied at the University of Maine.

Step 3: For published articles, search Sherpa/RoMEO for copyright policies of the appropriate journals. For guidance using this resource, continue reading this page. For assistance with copyright checking, please contact your Subject Specialist.

Step 4: If Sherpa/RoMEO indicates copyright permissions are granted according to journal policies, the approved version of the full-text work may be uploaded to DigitalCommons@UMaine.

If no information is available in Sherpa/RoMEO, review the journal publisher's website about Open Access posting.  As appropriate, contact the publisher in writing to request permission to self-archive in DigitalCommons@UMaine. Download a letter template, in pdf format, available from Fogler Library. Copies of letters granting copyright approval to post full-text content in Digital Commons must be sent to: Technical Services, 5729 Fogler Library, Orono, ME 04469-5729.

Step 5: If Sherpa/RoMEO, the publisher website, or a letter from the publisher denies copyright permission, the work may not be uploaded to DigitalCommons@UMaine.

Step 6: For book chapters and conference proceedings, contact the appropriate publisher to request copyright permission. Download a letter template, in pdf format, available from Fogler Library. Copies of letters granting copyright approval must be sent to: Technical Services, 5729 Fogler Library, Orono, ME 04469-5729.

Step 7: Once copyright permissions are established, proceed with uploading approved version of the content to DigitalCommons@UMaine.

Questions about checking copyrights?  Contact your Subject Specialist for assistance.

Confirm Copyright Permissions Prior to Ingest

Sherpa/RoMEO logo

Sherpa-RoMEO is a free, collaborative website that compiles the copyright policies of over 3,078 peer-reviewed scholarly journals published worldwide. 

Search Sherpa-RoMEO using the journal title or ISSN to check copyright policies for the journal in which your work was originally published.

If Sherpa-RoMEO indicates copyright clearance, the submissions may be ingested to DigitalCommons@UMaine. 

If a journal does not appear in the Sherpa-RoMEO database, additional research is required to confirm copyright conditions prior to uploading content in Digital Commons. See the Step-by-Step Workflow below for guidance in this process.

Do you need help checking copyrights?  Contact your Subject Specialist for assistance.

Understanding Version Definitions

What's what when it comes to determining which version of your peer-reviewed article can be uploaded to Digital Commons?  Sherpa-RoMEO uses the following version definitions:

Author’s Pre-print = Pre-referreed paper, prior to any edits.
Post-print = Author's accepted manuscript (i.e. the final draft with all edits post-refereeing; no formatting).
Publisher's version = Publisher's formatted pdf (i.e. the published version the publisher paid to format).

Understanding General Conditions Summaries

American Anthropologist summary in Sherpa-RoMEO

General Conditions summaries in Sherpa-RoMEO vary from journal to journal and must be read carefully to determine whether or not a publisher permits use of the publisher’s formatted version of an article. A significant number of publishers do not permit use of the formatted version but do approve use of the Author’s Post-print (a.k.a. the final draft, post-refereeing) version.

In the example of American Anthropologist, pictured above and transcribed below, authors may upload an author’s preprint or post-print to the institutional website (i.e. Digital Commons). The original publisher copyright and source must be cited, however, and use of the publisher’s version is prohibited.

General Conditions:

  • On author's personal website or institutional website
  • On discipline-specific public servers of preprints and/ or postprints
  • Publisher copyright and source must be acknowledged with full citation
  • Non-commercial
  • Publisher's version/PDF cannot be used

Sherpa-RoMEO also provides a list of 965 journals that allow use of publisher's formatted pdf files in institutional repositories. This list was last updated 19 Nov 2015.

For additional assistance checking copyrights, contact your Subject Specialist


Kimberly Sawtelle's picture
Kimberly Sawtelle
5729 Fogler Library
University of Maine
Orono, ME 04469-5729
Phone: 207-581-1692
Fax: 207-581-1653

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