Our books

Become a Fan

« Advice for grad students: two worries | Main | Your university's COVID plan: what do you think? »



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


Let me please address this. ALWAYS just write the author an e-mail when you see an abstract and you want to read the paper. I have been doing this for years, and others have done it to me as well. You are legally allowed to share your paper in this way - in standard publication contracts. I do not self-archive much, but I share a lot. Indeed, even before self-archiving was big, I would post people who I discuss in an article, a copy of my article. People are generally appreciative.


B, I think that’s very good advice and when I’ve asked someone for a paper they send and usually quickly. But why not just put them on PhilPapers? It takes very little effort (I grant... it takes some! (Much more than sending an email?) and no one is obliged here of course). A lot of students are nervous to email out of the blue and that’s understandable. And I think the same may well be true for people who don’t feel like this is appropriate for whatever reason, be those reasons cultural, feeling in/out crowd, mistakenly believing this is just not done, or whatever. I have a PhD student who is in his 50s - confident, outgoing, had a successful professional career. He had no idea until I told him that it’s OK to email and ask for papers or chapters. So I’m 100% in agreement with your advice, but just to highlight the advice on the APA post, why shouldn’t we all advocate for a lot more self archiving? (I realize you aren’t saying we shouldn’t!)


Unfortunately not all authors are as willing to share their research via email as B. For instance, I've politely emailed authors to request a copy of their paper and have never heard back. Others have been told it "would not be fair to the journal" to share their article via email see https://twitter.com/saul/status/1266006702060646402 . Plus even if someone is willing to share their work via email, it can take days or weeks to hear back, whereas downloading a self-archived paper is instant. From the author's perspective, I think self-archiving can save time as well, as then you don't need to email your paper to everyone who asks.


I am hoping my post will be read by the shy ... I do not archive on various sites because it is often in violation of the copyright agreements we sign. I take those seriously because I work on a journal.


Oops, I phrased things in the wrong way in my previous comment. What I meant to say was that self-archiving can save an author time as then, instead of emailing the author for a copy, people interested in the paper can download it from their website or PhilArchive instead, meaning the author has less emails to answer.


B, in the contracts I've signed, self-archiving of the accepted, non-typeset article is permitted, though sometimes after an embargo period of up to 2 years. For example, Springer's self-archiving policy allows you to upload your accepted manuscript to your website immediately on acceptance and to an online repository 12 months after publication (https://www.springer.com/gp/open-access/publication-policies/self-archiving-policy ).


Yes I know what the contracts say.


Some journals are fairly strict, and only allow you to post to your website and share the post-review version after a 1 year embargo period. Before then, you're only meant to post to your website and share the pre-review version. If authors are following those sorts of instructions, then it would be understandable for them not to make the paper publicly available straight away, since that would mean posting the pre-review version, which may be of lesser quality than the post-review one. None of this goes against the spirit of what's been said; I agree that for journals that don't have such strict policies, one might as well share the paper straight away for others' benefit.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

Job-market reporting thread

Current Job-Market Discussion Thread

Job ads crowdsourcing thread

Philosophers in Industry Directory