We already have a similar question but it does not seem to address the issue I have. Assume I have a manuscript that is accepted for publication. When I look at the sharing policy of Elsevier, I see that I "can share my preprint anywhere at any time". The moment my manuscript is accepted, there seems to be a different set of rules. Why is that? Can I still share my preprint wherever I like?
I would like to share something through researchgate.net. Can someone help to clear these two specific questions?
Regarding the rules of Elsevier, can I share my personal pre-print (not the final publication) at any time, no matter if my manuscript is accepted or published?
Can I upload the graphics or images from the pre-print to researchgate since they have such functionality or is this not allowed?
Take Elsevier's definition of the preprint:
This is the author's own write-up of research results and analysis that has not been peer reviewed, nor had any other value added to it by a publisher (such as formatting, copy-editing, technical enhancements, and the like).
The preprint is the manuscript version that you initially submitted to the journal, and it stays the preprint version even if later versions are being revised through peer review, are formatted by the publisher, and are the published formally. Elsevier's policy makes clear that you can share the preprint anytime. They just "encourage" authors to put the DOI link on the preprint once the final version is published.
As you're allowed to share the full preprint anywhere, I don't see what could stop you from sharing portions of it (like graphics) anywhere as well.