UT's open repository is Tennessee Research and Creative Exchange, typically referred to as TRACE. Many academic institutions have an open institutional repository where researchers can deposit and share their articles, data sets, book chapters, and other materials for public access.
Open access to your work means more readers, which often means higher citation counts. Items in TRACE are open access via open archiving, and indexed by Google Scholar. Additionally, TRACE provides you with a useful impact metric: the number of times each work is downloaded.
A great deal of research exists behind "paywalls," so people not affiliated with a university are unable to access scholarly articles unless they pay $35, $40, $65, or some other fee to download your work -- the work you did for no special remuneration. Works in TRACE are freely available to the world, which can help the citizens in our community understand what we do, and how it matters to them.
(Generalized Geologic Map of Tennessee from Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation)
The NIH, NSF, and many other funders (both federal and private) require deposit of publicly-funded research into publicly-accessible repositories. TRACE is one such repository.
To add your previously published works to TRACE, review the five steps outlined in Steps for TRACE Deposit.
Before you deposit your work in TRACE, be aware that you may not have the right to deposit the publisher's version of your work. This is because many authors transfer their copyright to the journal publisher. This is an unnecessary but very common practice in academic publishing. It may occur when an author "clicks-through" a submission form to a journal and agrees to the publisher's terms, or when an author signs a "publishing agreement," "copyright transfer agreement," or other contract with a publisher.
Transferring (giving up) your copyright is not a requirement for publication, though some publishers make it their default policy. For more information, see the page on "Publication Agreements" in this toolkit.
Contact the Scholarly Communication and Publishing Librarian to talk about reviewing your CV or other list of publications to add them to TRACE. Here's what will happen:
This document explains versions:
Before you submit your work to a journal, find out what that journal's typical publishing agreement allows.
Use Sherpa/RoMEO (from JISC and the University of Nottingham) to search by journal title. Check for the publisher's general terms under Author's Pre-print, Author's Post-print, Publisher's Version/PDF, and General Conditions. Note the specific terms that may be listed under General Conditions.
Knowing the default publication agreement terms, you can decide if you agree to the terms, or if you want to reserve additional copyrights and ask for changes to the terms.
Most researchers want the ability to deposit either their post-print or the publisher's version to TRACE. If the default agreement doesn't allow you to do this, you have options:
Does this sound intimidating? You aren't the first to ask for an amended publication agreement. In fact, Harvard, MIT, and the University of California system all have policies under which faculty, by default, deposit their work in their institution's repository. The author's institutional policy takes precedence over any new publishing agreement, so publishers accommodate these policies because they want to publish work done by leading researchers.
Keep in mind, the journal's editor may work at an institution with such a policy and be familiar with this type of request. Also, many funders (federal and private) require public access to research that results from their grants. Again, these funder policies take precedence over any publishing agreement.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
You are free to reuse original material on this guide if you credit Rachel Caldwell, University of Tennessee Libraries; however, much of the information on this page comes from other sources. Check the permissions you need to reuse any material that comes from other sources.
The author of this page in not a lawyer and the information provided does not constitute legal advice.