Open access repositories

What is a repository?

Institutional repositories allow an organization to digitally archive and showcase their intellectual output to a larger and unrestricted audience. They also allow compliance with the increasing number of open access policies and funding mandates arising, including the NIH Public Access Policy and the Wellcome Trust Open Access Policy.

Publishing in an open access journal, such as one of those published by BioMed Central or depositing into our Open Repository service, is an excellent way to comply with such a deposition policy. BioMed Central automatically deposits published articles in these funders' repositories which saves effort on the part of the author, who avoids the need to go through a separate deposition process for their article.

Depositing published research into a repository

A challenge faced by all digital repositories is that many traditional journals only allow deposition of the author's manuscript version of the article, not the final, 'official' version. Additionally, traditional publishers often specify an embargo period of 6 or even 12 months before the research article can be made openly available. Such restrictions clearly hamper the free flow of information.

In contrast, BioMed Central allows the final version of all published research articles to be placed in any digital archive immediately upon publication. Authors are free to archive articles themselves, but in many cases this is not necessary as BioMed Central can automatically supply a feed of open access articles to any repository that wishes to receive it. The OAI-PMH (Open Access Initiative for Metadata Harvesting Protocol) is also supported, which makes it easy for other repositories to harvest BioMed Central articles.

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