A notable academic in my field has asked for a copy of one of my papers which he says he wants to assign to a class. For me this is a big compliment and a good opportunity to get my work out there. Now, I could share the post-print with him, which is allowed by the journal, however, this does not have the correct page numbers and wouldn't be much use for any citations.

My institution always photocopies articles from books and sends them around the class. It's probably quite naughty but they do it a lot. Should I send a scan/photocopy or should I just send a post-print, which would effectively just be a Word doc?

  • 4
    Do you not have a PDF? Commented Jul 24, 2018 at 15:54
  • 1
    @AzorAhai I have the final proof copy as sent to me by the journal but it does not have the correct page numbers on it. I would have to scan a copy myself and email it.
    – C26
    Commented Jul 24, 2018 at 15:58
  • 36
    I'd be kinda annoyed at getting a scan when PDFs exist ... personally, I would recommend sending the highest-quality PDF you have, and if you are very concerned, just send along a complete citation for them to use (with the correct page numbers). Commented Jul 24, 2018 at 15:59
  • 2
    While I've always done it properly, in the age of mostly-digital journals, I've always wondered if anyone really cares about the page numbers...
    – mbrig
    Commented Jul 24, 2018 at 22:01
  • 3
    @mbrig There are people/journals who still have the infuriating habit of citing a journal based on a cryptic abbreviation, year, issue number and page numbers. And that is despite a simple author, title, year reference being much more convenient and simple. Those cryptic references are also great when a number is wrong...
    – DetlevCM
    Commented Jul 25, 2018 at 7:48

2 Answers 2


Of course send the post-print. Why does it matter that it doesn't have the right page numbers? Presumably, your colleague wants to assign it to his class because of its content, not because of its page numbers! Send a note with what the proper citation information would be, in case anyone wants to cite it, or better yet just write that on the top of the document ("Please cite this work as: ...").


Why not send it in it's best form, since students are going to be using the information you wrote in it for academic purposes. I think the journal guys should not mind what and how any academic work is shared.

  • 1
    What you think the 'journal guys' should think, and what the journal staff think (and they aren't all guys) are likely different things...
    – Jon Custer
    Commented Jul 25, 2018 at 21:19
  • 8
    The term "guys" is commonly used in a generic non-gender-specific sense. There is no reason to give an uncharitable reading to the post.
    – Ben
    Commented Jul 26, 2018 at 0:08
  • @JonCuster Yes they are different things. The journal "guys" keep strict rules about not leaking the papers published in their journals. But how is this gonna help when all you did was withhold useful academic information from a poor student in India. Universities in India buy university level access to IEEE and other journals to overcome this.
    – vijayant
    Commented Jul 26, 2018 at 10:23
  • 3
    @Ben - I don't doubt that it is commonly used and even listed as 'non-gender-specific' in dictionaries, but that is not necessarily how everyone interprets it. Having asked a number of my staff, in private, how they feel about 'guys', the evidence is pretty clear that it is often seen as exclusionary. I now avoid using it.
    – Jon Custer
    Commented Jul 26, 2018 at 12:44

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .