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Open Access: Self-archiving

Versions of Full Text

A journal's OA policy may indicate which version of a full text can be used for self-archiving.


Version Also known as Description Self-archiving


Publisher’s version, Publisher’s PDF, Version of record

This version goes through the copy-editing and typesetting processes with branding conducted by the publisher, and it is available on the publisher website. 

Gold OA publishing allows the published version to be archived in a subject-specific or institutional repository.

Some publishers may allow this version to be archived or shared after an embargo period e.g., 6 months after published.

AIMS accepts self-archiving of published versions.


Accepted manuscript, Final version

This version has gone through the peer-review process and has been accepted by the publisher. It is usually prior to copy-editing and typesetting. 

Some publishers may allow archiving of this version in a subject-specific or institutional repository immediately or after an embargo period.

AIMS accepts the self-archiving of postprints.


Original manuscript

This version has NOT gone through the peer-review process.

Refer to the Preprint Guide.


Funders increasingly mandate their funded research outputs to adopt open access (OA) publishing. Self-archiving a copy of your research outputs in a subject-specific or institutional repository is a way to fulfill such a requirement. The Academic Information Management System (AIMS) is the institutional repository of CUHK.

Different funders, publishers, journals, and repositories have their own OA policies and guidelines, please check the relevant policies before you archive the research outputs.

Here are some useful online tools:

  • OpenDOAR is a directory of OA repositories
  • Sherpa Fact indicates whether a journal complies with a funder’s OA policy
  • Sherpa Juliet lists the OA policies and requirements of research funders
  • Sherpa Romeo lists the OA policies of major publisher and journals

Below is a summary of the self-archiving policy of the post-print version of articles in journals in an institutional repository. This self-archiving of a post-print allows you to share your article without paying an Article Processing Charge.

Publisher Embargo Period More Information
Elsevier    6 - 36 months
Journal Embargo Finder
Find out more
Cambridge University Press 0 - 6 months
Each Journal Policy
Find out more
Nature Portfolio Journal 6 months Find out more
Palgrave Macmillan 12 months Find out more
Springer 12 months Find out more
Taylor & Francis and Routledge      Vary between journals
Open cost finder
Find out more
Wiley     12-24 months 
Author Compliance Tool 
Find out more
Oxford University Press    Vary between journals
Accepted Manuscript Embargo Period 
Find out more
SAGE No Find out more
Emerald Publishing    No Find out more
John Benjamins No Find out more

 For more publishers, please check Sherpa Romeo

Self-archiving in the CUHK Academic Information Management System

You may upload a full text of your article in the Academic Information Management System (AIMS). The steps HERE show how to do self-archiving in an AIMS publication record.


Author Rights

Copyright owners have the exclusive right to copy, reproduce, disseminate, perform, broadcast, and adapt their works. Normally authors retain the copyright of their scholarly works until they sign a publishing agreement that transfers the copyright to a publisher. Some publishing agreements may transfer all copyright to a publisher while some may allow authors to retain certain rights to use the work. Therefore, it is important to understand and review your publishing agreement with your publisher.

As an academician, you may want to retain some rights of your published work for teaching, making further adaptions such as translation, and depositing a copy to an institutional repository to comply with a funder’s OA policy.

The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) provides more information on author rights. Authors may use the SPARC Author Addendum to amend the publishing agreement to retain certain rights.