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I know that some journals allow public archiving of publications (making them available for download) on a researcher's personal website. Some of these journals (at least in my field), however, constrict this right by saying that it is only allowed to public archive after one year following publication. EDIT: My question is concerned with the time frame of this first year or with the situation where journals do not allow public archiving.

To make a publication available to an interested reader, who is unable to obtain the article from the publisher due to institutional subscription policies, does one risk any legal problems on putting the following sentence on his/her website:

Feel free to contact me if you are interested in a copy of any of my publications.

1 Answer 1

This will likely vary from journal to journal, but the information should be available in the "authors" section on a journal's webpage. For example, Science provides the document "License to Publish—Information for Authors" document, which clearly states:

Once the Work has been published in Science and provided the Work's first appearance in Science is properly cited, authors may:


  • Distribute photocopies of the Work to colleagues for non-commercial purposes only (providing that recipients are informed that they may not further distribute or copy the Work). Authors may distribute photocopies or download and email the Science PDF to their colleagues for their colleagues' personal use provided the recipients understand that the copy may not be further distributed or reproduced without the approval of AAAS.

This license would allow what you described, as it's non-commercial.