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 freely available online that are similar or identical in content to the final published version. These are often called eprints (a collective term for preprints and postprints, see definitions below). In many cases this is also possible for papers long after they have been published by the journal.
Some researchers also use preprints to collect feedback on manuscripts outside the review process. This feedback can then be fed into the resubmitted manuscript after review.
In other disciplines such as theoretical physics and mathematics, almost all papers are published first as preprints, with repositories such as the arXiv also serving as announcement lists (journals then only serve as an independent seal of approval). In other fields such as economics and engineering, preprints are not so widely used.
A list of the policies of specific energy-related journals as well as a list of eprint repositories is provided below.
The information on this page may be wrong or out of date.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. Most journals allow preprints to be published anywhere and at any time.
Postprints: A postprint 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 postprints 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 postprint can be published.
Eprint: Electronic manuscript, this term 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 postprint?
DOI: Digital Object Identifier, a stable identifier for a document.
Sherpa's romeo service provides a searchable guide to journal policies on preprints and postprints, but sometimes lacks in detail.
TODO: Table summary with following headers:
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
Postprint: 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 licensed 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 preprint 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 eprints 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 preprint archive, see links below.
Can I publish an eprint of an older paper which has already been published by a journal?
In many cases the answer is "yes"; check the individual journal policy above.
This document was originally compiled in a Breakout Group at the 2017 Munich Workshop by Tom Brown, Magdalena Dörfner, Jonas Egerer and Caroline Möller.