FAQs - About institutional repositories

What are the benefits of having copies of my research outputs in QUT ePrints?

  • Wider access to your work. QUT ePrints is indexed by Google and other search engines; this means your work is more likely to be discovered. For journal articles, the repository record will include a link to the published version of the article on the journal's website. Anyone with a personal or institutional subscription to the journal will be able to access the published version via this link. However, to reach the widest possible audience, we also need to have a copy of your 'accepted manuscript' version in QUT ePrints.  In most cases, this version can be made publicly accessible via the repository record.
  • Enhanced research impact. When your work reaches a wider audience, it often leads to an increase in citations.
  • Safe, convenient long-term storage. Depositing copies of your research outputs in QUT ePrints means you can access the files from anywhere with Internet access.
  • Facilitation of research sharing. If you receive requests for copies of your papers, you can direct the requester to your QUT ePrints page. This saves time and money.
  • Showcase for QUT research output. Presently, QUT research outputs are disseminated via thousands of different publications, conference websites and other outlets. QUT ePrints provides an opportunity to create a valuable, publicly accessible showcase for our work.

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What is the difference between a "preprint" a "postprint" and a “published version”?

A ‘preprint’ is the version of a paper that is submitted for peer review (to a journal or a conference). This version may be revised by the author as a result of comments made by reviewers. 

A ‘postprint’ is the accepted manuscript version of a paper.  That is, it is the version of a paper incorporating the revisions made as a result of the peer review process or as accepted for publication if no changes were made. This is the version QUT authors should deposit - as it is the version that can, in most cases, be made openly accessible.

The published version includes changes made by the publisher when preparing the manuscript for publication.  This includes formatting, layout, pagination and changes made as a result of copy-editing.  Currently, most publishers only allow subscribers to access this version.  If the author deposits this version in QUT ePrints, in most cases, it cannot be made publicly accessible. Library staff will insert a link (DOI or URL) in the repository record to the published version to facilitate subscriber-access to the published version.  This version is sometimes referred to as the ‘Publisher’s PDF’ or ‘Version of record’.

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What if my paper is already freely available on a web page?

Your paper may be available today but, unless you control the website, you have no guarantee that it will be available in the future. Websites, even official conference websites, often disappear after a time. If a journal ceases to be published, its website will disappear. There is no need to remove your work from a current website. By depositing a copy of your paper or research output in QUT ePrints, you will be creating an additional access point.  During the deposit process, you can insert a link to the current web site in the eprint record by entering the URL in the "Additional URLs" field.

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Where can I find more information about open access?

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Will institutional repositories replace journals?

Institutional repositories are complementary to, rather than a replacement for scholarly journals. The peer review process provided by journals is of critical importance to scholarship. However, the proliferation of institutional and subject repositories could accelerate changes that are currently taking place in the scholarly communication process. As the number of papers made freely available via repositories increases, the number of journals moving from subscription access to open access (where content is free to readers though, in some cases, author-side publication charges may apply), will also increase.

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What about quality control?

Most of the items accepted for inclusion in QUT ePrints are copies of peer reviewed journal articles, peer reviewed conference papers, theses and other peer reviewed research outputs. However, some items will not have been through a peer review process (preprints, articles published in professional journals, unpublished reports and some non-text research outputs).

Only documents which are at the stage where they are deemed (by the author or creator) to be ready for publication or dissemination should be self-archived. It is highly unlikely that any academic will want to disseminate papers of poor quality with his/her name on it.

Un-refereed items are clearly labelled. When searching the repository, it is possible to limit the search to retrieve only peer-reviewed articles if the prospect of retrieving non-peer-reviewed items is a concern.

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Can I search across a number of repositories with one search?

Yes. Most institutional and subject repositories have adopted a common standard for describing their contents.  The metadata (the descriptions and links) can be ‘harvested’ by search engines and repository-specific search services that allow you to cross-search multiple repositories with one search query. There are a number repository-specific search services including:

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Will my papers be found via Google?

Yes.  All records in QUT ePrints, and the files attached to these records are indexed by Google. Not only will your papers be found by Google, they will generally receive a favourable ranking in the list of ‘hits’.  To see this in action, try searching Google for Emergency finance.  This two-word search will result in over 30 million hits - but paper in QUT ePrints with this phrase in the title is generally in the top 5.  The same paper is on the School website but it is nowhere to be seen in the list. 

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