This guide is written for researchers in energy systems who want to make their research papers available in cases where open access is not possible. Many journals allow versions of their research papers to be made available online that are similar or identical in content to the final published version. These are often called pre-prints (or post-prints,depending, see below). In many cases this is also possible for papers long after they have been published by the journal.
Open access refers to research papers which can be downloaded and read by anyone. It may also refer to further copyright licence conditions, such as conditions on re-use of the research paper text and graphics.
Many journals are either fully open access, paid open access (the author pays a fee for open access) or are open access after an embargo period.
As well as the research paper available from the publisher, many journals also allow versions of the paper similar or identical to the final accepted to be made available.
Preprints: A preprint is the manuscript of a research paper before submission to the journal. Most journals allow pre-prints to be published anywhere and at any time.
Post-prints: A post-print is the manuscript after it has been updated based on reviewer comments and accepted by the journal. Its content is identical with the final published paper, but may differ in formatting/typesetting. Some journals allow post-prints to be made freely available under certain conditions, which may include licencing conditions, referring to the journal version, embargoes or restrictions on the sites to which the post-print can be published.
Other terms, such as "Discussion Paper", "Working Paper", "Accepted Manuscript" are explained below.
A searchable guide to journal policies on preprints and postprints (sometimes lacking in detail):
There are also repositories of pre-prints, see below.
Disclaimer The information on this page may be wrong or out of date. Please check with the individual journal before relying on any information here.
Preprints: A preprint is the manuscript of a research paper before submission to the journal.
Post-prints: A post-print is the manuscript after it has been updated based on reviewer comments and accepted by the journal.
e-print: electronic manuscript, includes both preprints and postprints
discussion/working paper: terms used by economists for papers before journal review, but not always resulting in a journal submission
accepted manuscript: same as post-print?
Journal | Policy link/page | Preprint policy | Postprint policy | Journal copy policy
can preprint be updated after publishing? embargo period?
Preprint: Can be published anywhere at anytime
Post-print: Can be published on non-commercial personal page, blog, arXiv or REpeC immediately; institutional repo after embargo which depends on journal; licencing conditions: must have CC BY NC ND, must mention DOI of paper
Policy: https://www.ieee.org/publications_standards/publications/authors/index.html, FAQ: http://www.ieee.org/documents/author_version_faq.pdf
Preprint: Can be published anywhere anytime as long as there is no accepted version
Postprint: As soon as it is accepted, IEEE provides a version with DOI and copyright mention which has to replace the former published preprint version
Preprint: Can be published anywhere anytime; DOI must be added in case of acceptance
Postprint: Embargo of 6 months: after that postprint may be archived on institutional repository or private webpage; may not be licesend creative commons
Preprint: on author's personal website, on author's company/institutional repository or archive, on not for profit subject based preprint servers or repositories; acknowledgement is recommended
Postprint: on author's personal website, on author's company/institutional repository or archive, on not for profit subject based repositories; after an embargo period of 12 (for scientific, technical, medical and psychology journals) and 24 (for social science and humanities) months following publication of the final article
Preprint: can remain on servers like arXiv.org and/or can be updated with the author's accepted version Postprint: only self-archiving on own website allows also for archiving preprints on other repositories than your own, but only after at least 12 months after official publication acknowledgement has to be given to the original source of the publication and a link to the published article including the DOI has to be inserted
Preprint: The Author agrees that in all instances of publishing a preprint and/or accepted manuscript version of the Article, the Author will reference its first publication in The Energy Journal.
Postprint: accepted pre-print form of article can be published in a non-commercial repository. This includes pre-submission (e.g. ArXiV and RePEc) and post-acceptance repositories, such as that of the author’s institution or the author’s funding body, plus that organization's intranet. The author may also use the article in the author’s thesis, both in print and online. Authors should first confirm with the IAEE if there is any doubt as to whether a repository is considered non-commercial
Postprint: Authors may post their author accepted manuscript (AAM) on personal websites, scholarly collaboration networks, or noncommercial institutional repositories immediately after acceptance. Posted AAMs must include the DOI (permalink) provided by INFORMS to the final published version of record. Authors may not post their final published version of record except where authorized under an INFORMS Open Option open access publication license.
https://arxiv.org/ (independent, originally Cornell University, there is not a rich set of categories for Energy System Modelling, but as of September 2017 there is an "Economics" and a "Electrical Engineering and Systems Science" section)
https://www.preprints.org/ (run by MDPI)
Examples of real practice
DIW econstor experience
Why is archiving pre-prints on personal webpages or institutional repositories bad?
This can be problematic if the link is not stable; many websites are redesigned or go offline, which is not sustainable. This can be solved if institutional repositories have DOIs. A good if not better solution is to use an official pre-print archive, see links below.
Can I publish a pre/post-print of an older paper which has already been published by a journal?
In many cases the answer is "yes"; check the individual journal policy below.