I submitted a paper to a journal and now it is under review. Since I would like to publish it on the Research Gate I was reading the journal rules to be sure this is possible. I also had a look on the SHERPA/RoMEO website and this is what I found:

Author's Pre-print: author can archive pre-print (ie pre-refereeing)

Author's Post-print: author can archive post-print (ie final draft post-refereeing)

Publisher's Version/PDF: author cannot archive publisher's version/PDF

General Conditions:

Author's pre-print on pre-print servers such as arXiv.org

Author's post-print on author's personal website immediately

Author's post-print on any open access repository after 12 months after publication

Publisher's version/PDF cannot be used

Published source must be acknowledged

Must link to publisher version

Set phrase to accompany link to published version (see policy)

Articles in some journals can be made Open Access on payment of additional charge

So, from the SHERPA/RoMEO it seems I can put a pre-print version on-line on other websites. Then I had a look at the "Instructions for authors" section in the journal website and there it says that, after acceptance, I have to sign a Copyright transfer statement. What does this mean?

Also, if my paper get refused from the journal, can I still publish it on the Research Gate?

1 Answer 1


You can publish the preprint online, e.g. on arXiv, RG, or your university preprint server.

If your paper is accepted in the journal, you probably will be asked to transfer the copyright to the journal. The copyright applies to the accepted version of the paper, i.e. after reviewers' suggestions are implemented, the paper is proofread, copy-edited and typeset in journal style. According to SHERPA/RoMEO, you can upload a post-print version to your own website immediately, and any other website 12 months after the acceptance.

If your paper is not accepted by the journal, you are free to make it available anywhere on the web.

  • Just one more question: since I wrote my paper using LaTex, I used the journal formatting which was available for download on the journal website. If I put the paper on RG, do I have to change the formatting to a more standard one? (For example, the journal asks for a 2 columns text, should I use a one column formatting for the RG paper?)
    – Rhei
    Nov 1, 2015 at 19:21
  • The journal should have a policy on how the style file(s) are used, usually provided on the website or in comments inside the style files. The license makes it clear whether or not one can use journal style for personal preprints, etc. I personally think it is best to use more neutral style for preprints to avoid confusion. Nov 1, 2015 at 20:04

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