Accessibility and Self Archiving of Conference Articles: A Study on a Selection of Swedish Institutional Repositories
Journal article, 2012
The main purpose of this project has been to examine the accessibility of refereed conference articles and the OA- and publishing policies of conferences in order to in this way elucidate different aspects concerning self-archiving in Swedish institutional repositories. For this purpose, the project participants have examined a number of conferences and references to conference articles via their institutional repositories during a specific time period and described these from the perspective of a common scheme. The study has showed that the local institutional repositories fill an important role to make conference publications visible. We have found that ca. 50 % of the conference papers can be published as postprints in our institutional repositories. We have noticed that ca. 15% or the studied conference articles are not available at all. It is, therefore, of great importance to use local institutional repositories as a publishing channel, not only for primary published material such as dissertations and reports, but also as a source for finding these conference articles “without a home”. Between 20-25 % of the examined articles were found in some type of OA archive; ca. half of these were found in one of the project participants' own institutional repositories. This indicates that the publishing database of respective higher education institution is an important factor for open accessibility. Ca. 10% of the conferences in the study had an explicit OA policy or expressed such a policy by openly making conference articles accessible on their conference sites. A big problem when it comes to self-archiving of conference articles is the lack of information about OA policy. The landscape of conference publishing is complex and the self-archiving of documents from conferences is very time-consuming. Above all, we would wish a policy resource for conferences similar to the SHERPA/RoMEO. At present, however, there is no other alternative than scrutinizing the conferences' copyright information to the authors and from this attempt to draw conclusions about possible self-archiving. To facilitate the future handling and classification of conference articles in Swedish institutional repositories a number of recommendations are suggested.