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I used to self-archive papers on my homepage in the institute where I was doing phd. I just noticed that my homepage and the reprints were removed -- that's normal, I'm not working in that institute anymore.

I can legally self-archive these papers. For example, J. Appl. Cryst. allows authors to post reprints

on their own personal website, on their employer's website/repository and on free public servers in their subject area.

What are the best "free public servers" to upload electronic reprints? (IIUC arXiv is for pre-prints rather than post-prints).

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    What's wrong with nieto.pl? – JeffE May 20 '13 at 16:53
  • @JeffE: nothing wrong, but I'm wondering if there is a dedicated service that makes papers easier to find that one's own website. Although it may not matter, google will index it anyway. – marcin May 20 '13 at 17:06
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    As Piotr says in his answer, arXiv is definitely not just for pre-prints (it's not even primarily intended for pre-prints). The arXiv calls them "e-prints" to avoid the issue of whether they are preprints, although this name has not really caught on more broadly. – Anonymous Mathematician May 20 '13 at 20:07
  • arXiv also has that annoying rule that you need to be invited by someone (or whatever they call it). That can be a problem. – Faheem Mitha May 20 '13 at 20:25
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    @FaheemMitha Not exactly (I got an account "as it is"), but see academia.stackexchange.com/questions/4812/… (unless you are a crackpot, it shouldn't be hard to know someone (even via a SE site :)), who wants to endorse you). – Piotr Migdal May 20 '13 at 20:29
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arXiv is not only for preprints (actually, updating after publication is highly encouraged). So if you can self-archive*) and you have an intersection with an arXiv discipline, it is the best place to place it.

*) The only objection to post-publication is in case where you are not allowed to self-archive and don't wan't to mess with it.

For other disciplines, see Preprint services other than arXiv (for other fields).

Or (maybe even better) just - putting them on GitHub repository. It is a stable service + makes it easy to upload work with source code (tex + figures) (much alike arXiv, but on GitHub it is more convenient). Just make sure to link the pdf file in the README.md and reference it properly (i.e. the full citation, the best with a DOI link) so to have its status clear.

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    I don't think this is legally allowed. The Figshare terms of service state that "All publicly stored research outputs are stored under Creative Commons Licenses"; he does not have enough rights left to publish under one. As for Github, I seem to recall that you can only publish open source code there, although I can't find anything specific on the ToS now. A post-published self-archived pdf surely is not open source. – Federico Poloni May 20 '13 at 20:05
  • @FedericoPoloni Good point, I've removed the Figshare part. On GitHub it is you who set the license. Open source (i.e. source is visible) does not carry any license per se (AFAIK). Posting PDF without source there, AFAIK, does not differ from posting it on your homepage. – Piotr Migdal May 20 '13 at 20:08
  • Will Google pick up and index a paper posted on Github? – Faheem Mitha May 20 '13 at 20:16
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    Google seems to pick up PDF files on github just fine: google.com/search?q=filetype%3Apdf%20site%3Agithub.com – Federico Poloni May 20 '13 at 21:07
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    @PiotrMigdal: Thanks for your answer. I've put the papers on Github for now. – marcin May 21 '13 at 16:02

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