Providing Open Access to Your Publications

I recently teamed up with University of Illinois at Chicago librarian Paula Dempsey to publish an article in the journal portal: Libraries and the Academy.  Our article, ““I Felt Like Such a Freshman”: First-Year Students Crossing the Library Threshold,” discusses how the students in our sample manifested particular “threshold concepts” in their development as emerging researchers, and is currently available in portal’s January, 2016 issue. At DePaul, current access to portal is provided through DePaul University Library’s Project MUSE premium subscription.  Other providers, such as ProQuest Education Journals, maintain a one year embargo on current content.  In other words, without access to Project Muse (or an independent subscription), access to our article might require placing an ILLiad request (which, of course, is quicker than waiting for an embargo to expire) if it weren’t for one key thing: portal (and Johns Hopkins University Press) supports the ability of authors to post their manuscripts on the Open Web. I maintain copyright, and have permission to post my article to a personal website or my Selected Works page (which is part DePaul University Library’s institutional repository, Via Sapientiae.)


Selected Works not only hosts my content (so I don’t have to), it also provides for search engine optimization (SEO). This ensures that anyone searching for my articles will find them near the very top of a list of Google results.  I also have access to an author dashboard that shows me how many times my articles have been downloaded, and from where. You won’t get that kind of feedback from ProQuest or EBSCO.


Via Sapientiae

But most importantly, Selected Works provides authors with a simple, easy way to make their research accessible.  Hosting something in our repository means that a librarian at a small school (who might not have purchased access to portal through Project MUSE) can find my research and download it for free. You can watch downloads happening in real time at


More and more journals and publishers provide for author hosted content in a system like Selected Works. Check the language in your author agreement or guidelines, or use The Directory of Open Access Journals to browse for open access journals in your field.   If you have any questions or need further assistance, contact your liaison.  They will be happy to help you set up your Selected Works page and review your author rights.

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