FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

What is the OPAR, University of Naples "L'Orientale" Open Archive?

OPAR, L'Orientale Open Archive, is the institutional repository of the University of Naples “L'Orientale”, designed according to the Open Access movement guidelines and the Messina Declaration ratified by CRUI in 2004.

This archive is running on EPrints 3 – open source software powered by Southampton University – and supports the OAI Protocol for Metadata Harvesting.

OPAR, L'Orientale Open Archive, is an institutional digital repository for research articles and scientific literature. It is a cross-disciplinary archive, accessible to all. You can freely access and browse the digital repository OPAR, L'Orientale Open Archive: articles, training aid, technical reports, Ph. D. thesis, working papers and preprints, articles already appeared in journals, conference papers and chapters from books already published, and more.

Depositing – self-archiving – in OPAR is open to members of the University of Naples "L'Orientale" only. In order to deposit a document you need to be registered with OPAR, the procedure is easy and free. For more information, please see the User's Guide.

Self-archiving can maximize the visibility and accessibility of refereed research, its usage and its impact on research community. Moreover, maximizing research impact will benefit researchers and researcher's institution, too.

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What is the Open Access?

Open Access (OA) is “free, immediate, permanent online access to the full text of research articles for anyone, webwide”.

During the last decade and half, Open Access movement has used the Internet to throw open the locked doors that once hid knowledge, encouraging the unrestricted sharing of research results. According to the Open Access guidelines, the academic community has adopted new strategies for the sake of inquiry and knowledge.

The two varieties or two roads to Open Access are: "gold road" – open access publishing – promoting a fully open access journal hosted by the publisher with no barriers to online access, while "green road" – open access self-archiving – promoting the depositing of research outputs in the institutional repositories.

For more information, please see:

http://www.soros.org/openaccess – Budapest Open Access Initiative

http://www.eua.be/eua-work-and-policy-area/research-and-innovation/open-access/ - European University Association and Open Access

http://www.earlham.edu/~peters/fos/overview.htm – Open Access Overview

http://oa.mpg.de/openaccess-berlin/berlindeclaration.html – Berlin Declaration, Open Access Conference

http://www.openstarts.units.it/LineeGuidaArchiviIstituzionali.pdf – CRUI e Open Access

Definition of Open Access: «completely free and unrestricted access to [peer-reviewed journal literature] by all scientists, scholars, teachers, students, and other curious minds. Removing access barriers to this literature will accelerate research, enrich education, share the learning of the rich with the poor and the poor with the rich, make this literature as useful as it can be, and lay the foundation for uniting humanity in a common intellectual conversation and quest for knowledge»

Budapest Open Access Initiative, February 14, 2002, Budapest, Hungary, www.soros.org/openaccess/read.shtml

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What is an Open archive?

An Open Archive is a collection of digital documents. OAI-compliant Archives share the same metadata, making their contents interoperable with one another. Their metadata can then be harvested into global “virtual” archives (such as OAIster, that are seamlessly navigable by any user).

Open archives, thus, maximize the accessibility of the scientific research and the impact of a researcher's work in the international scientific community.

Ph. D. Thesis, according to the Berlin Declaration and the CRUI guidelines, need to be freely accessible since they are research output. Thus, the institutional archive guarantees visibility and accessibility to the University research literature, fulfilling the terms of these guidelines.

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What is the Open Archives Initiative (OAI)?

The Open Archives Initiative develops and promotes interoperability standards that aim to facilitate the efficient dissemination of content.

The Open Archives Initiative (OAI) has designed a shared code for metadata tags (e.g., "date," "author," "title," "journal" etc.). The full-text documents may be in different formats and locations, but if they use the same metadata tags they become "interoperable". Their metadata can be harvested and all the documents can then be jointly searched and retrieved as if they were all in one global collection, accessible to everyone. All OAI-compliant documents in OAI-compliant archives are interoperable.

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What is the OAI Protocol for Metadata Harvesting?

OAI-PMH, Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting, is a protocol developed by the Open Archives Initiative in order to facilitate document's metadata harvesting. It is used to harvest (or collect) the metadata descriptions of the records in an archive.

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What is self-archiving?

To self-archive is to deposit a digital document in a digital repository. The purpose of self-archiving is to make the research output of scholars/scientists and their institutions visible, accessible and searchable by any potential user with access to the Internet.

The purpose of thus maximizing public access to research findings online is that this in turn maximizes its visibility and impact - which in turn not only maximizes its benefits to researchers and their institution in terms of prestige, but it also maximizes its benefits to research itself in terms of research dissemination and progress.

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Why should one self-archive?

Self-archiving can maximize the visibility and accessibility of one's research, and hence the usage and impact of one's work. Merely publishing it provides minimal impact. Also self-archiving it provides maximal impact.

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What should be self-archived?

Registered users should self-archive any kind of technical or scientific document (published or unpublished): articles (preprint or postprint), working papers, conference papers, chapters of books, technical reports, training aid, theses and more.

In addition, all significant stages of one's work, from the pre-refereeing preprint to the peer-reviewed, published postprint, to post-publication updates should be self-archived. The OAI tags keep track of all versions. (Note that the postprint need not be the publisher's proprietary PDF: there should always be a link to the publisher's official version, however, for scholarly purposes.)

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Is self-archiving publication?

Self-archiving is definitely not publication. For purposes of establishing priority and asserting copyright, anything that is made public, even on a single piece of paper, meets the legal definition of "publication". Hence so does self-archiving. But for scholarly and scientific purposes, only meeting the quality standards of peer review, hence acceptance for publication by a peer-reviewed journal, counts as publication.

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What about copyright?

The author holds the copyright for the pre-refereeing preprint, so that can be self-archived without seeking anyone else's permission.

Ninety-seven percent of journals already give their green light to postprint self-archiving. With the remaining 32%, the author can either try to modify the copyright transfer agreement to reserve the right to self-archive the postprint, or, failing that, can append or link a corrigenda file to the already self-archived preprint.

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Is self-archiving legal?

Texts that an author has himself written are his own intellectual property. The author holds the copyright and is free to give away or sell copies, on-paper or on-line (by self-archiving), as he sees fit. For example, the pre-refereeing preprint can always be legally self-archived.

Self-archiving of one's own, non-plagiarized texts, is in general legal in all cases but two.

1) Where exclusive copyright in a "work for hire" has been transferred by the author to a publisher, the author may not self-archive it. The text is still the author's "intellectual property", in the sense that authorship is retained by the author, and the text may not be plagiarized by anyone, but the exclusive right to sell or give away copies of it has been transferred to the publisher.

2)   Where exclusive copyright has been assigned by the author to a journal publisher for a peer-reviewed draft, copy-edited and accepted for publication by that journal, then that draft may not be self-archived by the author (without the publisher's permission).

The pre-refereeing preprint, however, has already been (legally) self-archived. No copyright transfer agreement existed at that time, for that draft.

In those cases where the copyright transfer agreement does not yet give the author the green light to self-archive the refereed final draft ("postprint"), there is always the alternative of self-archiving a corrigenda file alongside the already archived preprint, listing the changes that need to be made to make the pre-refereeing preprint conform to the refereed postprint.

See the Directory of Journal Self-Archiving Policies. Of the nearly 10,000 journals surveyed over 90% are already "green" (i.e., they have already give their official green light to author self-archiving: 62% for postprints, 29% for preprints). Many of of the remaining 9% "gray" journals will agree if the author asks.

Perhaps the most sensible default strategy of all is the one that the physicists have been successfully practicing since 1991 and computer scientists have been practicing since even earlier: "don't-ask/don't-tell". Simply self-archive your preprint as well as your postprint, and wait to see whether the publisher ever requests removal.

After nearly a decade and a half of practicing this default strategy, and at least a million and a half self-archived papers in physics and computer science, only a handful of papers have ever been removed because a publisher requested it. On the contrary, virtually all physics journals and most computer science journals have since become officially "green" in response to the physics and computer science community's evident desire and determination to enjoy the research benefits of providing open access to their own papers by self-archiving them, and they now even encourage the self-archiving. In contrast, those researchers who during that decade and a half have not been practicing this default strategy have instead needlessly lost a decade and a half's worth of cumulative research impact.

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What if the publisher forbids preprint self-archiving?

The right to self-archive the refereed postprint is a legal matter, because the copyright transfer agreement pertains to that text. But the pre-refereeing preprint is self-archived at a time when no copyright transfer agreement exists and the author holds exclusive and full copyright to that draft.

So publisher policy forbidding prior self-archiving of preprints is not a legal matter, but merely a journal policy matter. It would become a legal matter - but a contractual matter, not a copyright one - if the author were to sign a contract explicitly stating that the unrefereed preprint had not been previously self-archived online. (Obviously an author should strike such arbitrary stipulations out of any contract.)

This policy goes by the name of the "Ingelfinger Rule", originally invoked by the Editor of the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), Franz Ingelfinger. The Ingelfinger Rule (sometimes also referred to as a "prepublication embargo") is accordingly not a copyright matter, but a journal submission policy: "We will not consider for publication any preprint that has been previously self-archived”.

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Plagiarism is a matter of probability. Yes, "it is much easier to steal someone else's text on-line, and publish it as one's own, than it is to do so on-paper", but it is also much easier to detect such thefts on-line; and it is possible to do both (steal and detect) on-paper too.

Depending on how important we find it to do so, we can make escape from detection so improbable on-line that it becomes harder to plagiarize on-line than on-paper. Remember that the author holds the copyright for the pre-refereeing preprint, so that can be self-archived without seeking anyone else's permission, establishing priority and asserting copyright.

Credits: EPrints Software - http://www.eprints.org

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