Science Publishing: Sharing articles via academic networks | Synapse
"Collaborative academic platforms like Mendeley, ResearchGate and Academia.edu have become very popular among scientists. ResearchGate alone has more than 4,000 members affiliated with UCSF. These platforms are useful not only for managing references and annotating PDF files, but also for connecting with other researchers. Increasingly, researchers are using these platforms to share and find articles from scholarly publications. It’s common to see the full text of articles from journals or conference proceedings shared on a user’s profile for anyone to read or download. Often you see the PDF version that’s been downloaded from the publisher’s platform with their branding and all. Is Article Sharing Allowed? Given how expensive scientific and medical journal subscriptions can be, you might wonder, is it allowed to share your PDFs freely on these platforms? The short answer is: probably not. Sharing a different version of your article, however, might be allowed. The vast majority of publishers restrict what you can do with the articles you publish with them. Posting the final published article on a publicly accessible site is allowed by a select few, and other restrictions may apply. A major exception is open-access articles, which typically allow redistribution of the publisher’s final version. Anytime you publish an article with a publisher, you sign an agreement such as a copyright transfer agreement that gives the publisher certain copyrights. This agreement is your best source for finding out what rights the publisher allows you for use and reuse of your work, so be sure to read through this information before you sign it, and keep it on file for reference. The SHERPA/RoMEO database is also great resource for looking up publisher copyright policies regarding archiving (posting a version of your paper). S/R guidance has been integrated into some networks, such as ResearchGate, at the point of uploading a full-text article. The copyright transfer agreement you signed, however, may differ from what S/R displays, so I still recommend referring to your specific agreement. Before you post your article anywhere, you should look for a few things ..."