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The HKU Scholars Hub: Publisher Policies

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Publisher Policies

Publisher Policies

An author's work is only placed in the Scholars Hub after we have confirmed that publisher's policy permits the item to be self-archived in our institutional repository. Most publishers, allow some form of self-archiving, although the version of the work that may be used, and the conditions imposed, vary from one publisher to another.

The Hub closely follows the definitions describing publishers' policies, established by Sherpa Romeo. This UK based database contains many hundreds of publishers' policies, and is updated and maintained from funding bodies in the UK, it is administered from the University of Nottingham. This database is often cited as the source of the policy information used in the Hub's own publisher policies database.

Definitions of the most common policy terms used in the Hub:

Postprint: The version of the article after peer review, with revisions suggested by peer review having been made.

This means that in terms of content, a post-print is the article as published. However, in terms of appearance, this might not be the same as the published article, as publishers often reserve for themselves their own arrangement of type-setting and formatting. This also means that in many cases an author cannot use the publisher's (or final) pdf file, for submission to the Hub. However, authors can create their own pdf or have Hub staff do this for them. Having said this, some publishers that allow post-print archiving, insist that authors do use the publisher generated pdf of the final version.

Other publishers, and funders such as NIH or the Wellcome Trust, use other names for a post-print. Some of these alternative names are:

  • “Author's final copy”
  • “Author's version”
  • “Author's manuscript”

Pre-print: A preprint is the author's version of the article before peer review.

Self-archiving: This term is often used to describe the author's right to submit and deposit a digital copy of some version of the article (preprint, postprint, or published version) on the author's personal web page, his or her departmental web page, or in an institutional repository such as the Hub.

Conditions: Publishers that allow self-archiving often impose conditions. An example of one publisher's conditions is shown below as an example:

An author may self-archive an author-created version of his/her article on his/her own website and his/her institution's repository, including his/her final version; however he/she may not use the publisher's PDF version which is posted on Furthermore, the author may only post his/her version provided acknowledgement is given to the original source of publication and a link is inserted to the published article on Springer's website. The link must be accompanied by the following text: “The original publication is available at”.

Embargo Period: A publisher may allow posting of a version of the article to the Hub after an “embargo period”. This means the author may not submit to the Hub until a number of months after the journal publication date. The length of the embargo period (6 months - 12 months etc) varies depending upon the publisher.

Permission Required Statement: The publisher allows authors to deposit a specified version of their article in the Hub, using a permission statement.