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Scholarly Publishing Toolkit

Scholarly communication support for authors and researchers, with information on Open Access and evaluating publishers.

What is TRACE?

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.

Why Researchers Deposit Work in TRACE

  • Items in TRACE are found by Google Scholar, increasing your visibility and citation counts.

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.

  • TRACE gives the public access to your research.

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.

If your work isn't in TRACE, most Tennesseans can't read your publications.

(Generalized Geologic Map of Tennessee from Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation)

  • Meet funders' Public Access Policies by adding data and other outputs to TRACE.

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.


How Do I Add Publications to TRACE?

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.

Send Your CV to the Libraries

Contact the UT Libraries to talk about reviewing your CV or other list of publications to add them to TRACE. Here's what will happen:

  1. The author may have rights to share their final manuscript but not the publisher’s version. The document below, "Publication Versions: Versions of an Article," explains the differences between versions.
  2. The version the author has the rights to deposit depends on the journal in which they were published. We'll find each journal's terms using JISC's Sherpa/RoMEO database
  3. We may ask you for copies of your post-prints to deposit in TRACE after the CV analysis.

This document explains versions:

Submit a Manuscript for Review & Retain the Right to Deposit in TRACE

Default Publishing Agreements

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.

If the Default Terms Are Too Limiting

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:

  • Option A: Contact the editor of the journal before submitting your work to the publisher and explain that you wish to retain the right to deposit your work in your institution's open repository, TRACE.
  • Option B: Change your publication agreement. Use an "Immediate Access" or "Delayed Access" addendum from the Science Commons Scholar's Copyright Addendum Engine (appropriate for all disciplines, not just the Sciences). The "Immediate Access" addendum allows immediate deposit of your work to TRACE The "Delayed Access" addendum embargoes your work for 6 months.
  • Option C: Submit your work to a publisher with better terms. If you want help identifying journals, talk to your subject librarian.

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.


Set up a consultation with the Research Impact & Open Access Head Librarian, Peter Fernandez, for more information.


What is TRACE?

TRACE is UT's open repository of research and creative works.

Free to Reuse with Credit

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Creative Commons License

You are free to reuse original material on this guide if you credit Rachel Caldwell and 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.