Article versions as pre-print, post-print and final version appear in the different stages which a submitted manuscript passes. With the Internet and the digital age the different article versions were more easy to share and use. Article versions play a role in copyright management, citations and Open Access self-depositing.
- Pre-print: article submitted to an editorial board, no acceptance for peer review process yet
- Post-print: the version of the paper after peer review with revisions having been made by the author
- Accepted manuscript / publisher version / final version: the version of the article as it appears in the journal.
Points of discussion
- No doubt that the most valuable version is the final published version; this version is used for references and citations
- Most open access publishers allow self-depositing of their publisher version into an Institutional Repository or a Subject Repository
- Most open access publishers do not chase for the copyrights for any of these versions
- Most subscription publishers handle different self-deposit policies for different versions; they share their policies in the Sherpa Romeo database
- Most subscription publishers require the author to sign away his/her copyrights as soon as the publisher accepts the manuscript for peer review process; the publisher then owns the rights of post-print and final version
- Most subscription publishers do not allow self-deposit of final versions in an Institutional Repository
- Most subscription publishers do allow self-deposit of pre-prints and post-pints in an Institutional Repository or Subject Repository with an embargo period
Open Access and article versions
- In Open Access the copyright stays ideally with the author (check out the CC-BY license) and this means there is less confusion about what is allowed and what not; the author may deposit the final version in an Institutional Repository, share it with others or place it on his personal website.
- In an Open Access situation there exist less version circulation which makes it easier for users and authors to use the prefered version for referring to.