Skip to main content



Scholarly Communication and Open Access

This guide offers information to support new modes of disseminating research via Open Access and new methods of measuring research impact.

Check copyright regulations

Many publishers have copyright regulations specifying which versions of a journal article can be deposited in a repository. Some permit pre-prints, others post-prints, which some allow posting of final published articles after an embargo period such as 12 months.

To check a publisher’s copyright regulations regarding archiving:

You can try negotiating with a publisher to retain more rights to your work. SPARC, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, offers resources on author rights including an addendum you can use with copyright agreements.

What are pre-prints, post-prints and final articles?

Depositing your article in an online archive, such as the Brock Digital Repository, is a great way to make your research accessible and increase citations. This information will help you differentiate between different versions of an article so that you can more easily comply with publishers' copyright regulations regarding online posting.

Broadly speaking*, there are 3 main versions of a journal article -- pre-prints, post-prints and publishers' final versions:

  1. Pre-print -- this is the author's original manuscript which has been submitted to a journal. It has not been peer-reviewed, copy-edited, or formatted with page numbers or branded by the journal. Also called author's manuscript, original manuscript, first draft.
  2. Post-print -- an article which has undergone peer-review and been revised accordingly. Also known as the accepted author manuscript.
  3. Publishers' final version -- an article which has been peer-reviewed, copy-edited, proofread, paginated and fully formatted for publication

Need a visual? check out the examples in the other boxes on this page.

*Unfortunately, these definitions are not used consistently by all researchers and all publishers, so please seek clarification if you have any questions

Pre-print

Post-print

Publishers' final version