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Your choice of publisher affects how often your work is read, cited, and discussed.
Characteristics of commercial publishers
- Access to journal articles is usually through subscriptions, print or electronic, usually paid by university libraries.
- Subscription prices have risen much faster than inflation and much faster than libraries’ budgets.
- Some publishers have "hybrid open access" models in which authors pay a fee to make their article openly available to all readers, while the rest of the journal remains subscription-access.
- Authors are usually asked to sign away their copyright. Learn how to Manage Your Rights to protect your control over your work.
- Some publishers allow the author to archive their article in a repository after a specified embargo period. SHERPA/RoMEO provides information on publisher policies.
Characteristics of society publishers and university presses
- Access to society publishers’ journals and books is usually part of a membership fee or paid as a subscription.
- Some society publishers partner with commercial publishers.
- University presses often focus on a specialist audience or a regional community of interest. See the Association of American University Presses for more information.
- The University of Minnesota Press specializes in the humanities and social sciences as well as works about Minnesota and the Upper Midwest.
Characteristics of non-profit, non-society publishers
- Some non-profits are formed to create open access journals, making research into a freely available public resource. Examples include PLOS ONE and PeerJ.
Characteristics of library publishers
- Provide preservation of journals/books as well as hosting and access.
- Support a variety of works, from traditional peer-reviewed journals to student-run journals.
- Publications are usually open access.
- Authors usually retain their rights to their work.
- The University of Minnesota Libraries' Publishing offers publishing services to all U affiliates.See the Library Publishing Coalition for more examples.
Characteristics of self publishing
- Print or electronic formats, or both, are available.
- Authors can experiment with pricing and distribution models to earn money and/or achieve wider distribution.
- Usually lacks editorial support or benefit from an established publisher’s reputation.
Characteristics of institutional and subject repositories
- Intended to make intellectual output available and preserve it.
- Can be used to get research out quickly.
- May contain published and unpublished materials: working papers, pre-prints, teaching materials, technical reports, manuscripts, theses, conference proceedings, newsletters, etc.
- Many research funders require all resulting research papers to be deposited in an open-access repository.
- A traditional publication agreement may allow archiving in a repository, or an author can negotiate to retain this right. U researchers can also use the U’s Open Access Policy to deposit a copy in the University Digital Conservancy.
Characteristics of federal agency repositories
- If you receive funding from a federal agency, check their policy to see if you are required to deposit a copy of your research products in a specific sharing venue.
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