This is our fifth and final post for OA Week 2021. Today we are going to share information about a couple open access (OA) repositories that make sharing and using scholarly content easier. There are many kinds of OA repositories. Some of the most well know publication repositories include arXiv and PubMed Central.
ArXiv is a pre-print repository for research from physics, mathematics, computer science, quantitative biology, quantitative finance, statistics, electrical engineering, and economics. It was founded in 1991 and now hosts almost 2 million articles. A pre-print is usually considered the version of an article before it goes through peer review. Scholars will upload that version of their article to arXiv and then also submit the article to a journal. Researchers in that field are able to review work before publication which greatly speeds up the communication process. ArXiv has been so successful that it has inspired pre-print repositories in a variety of other fields like bioRxiv, engrXiv, and medRxiv.
PubMed Central (PMC) is a repository of biomedical and life sciences journal literature managed by the National Library of Medicine (NLM). There are over 6 million full-text records in PMC and all the content is free to read. PMC content is added in three mains ways – publishers and scholarly societies deposit articles directly to PMC, authors deposit an author manuscript in compliance with funder requirements, or publishers and organizations work with NLM to get scanned versions of historical journal content into PMC. This repository is a critical pathway for access to health information as demonstrated by the 3.4 million unique sessions each weekday. Note – the author manuscript is the version of the article after it has gone through peer review but before final copyediting and conversion to PDF is done. This is sometimes referred to as a post-print or an author’s accepted manuscript. See our guide for more information about article versions.
These two repositories make the scholarly publishing system more equitable by making sure users have access to the information they need regardless of their ability to pay. As I’m sure you’ve gathered, there is a considerable cost to maintaining this important infrastructure. ArXiv is supported by Cornell University and hundreds of member institutions from around the world. PMC is supported through US taxpayer dollars. These support models demonstrate that open access can be successfully funded without article processing charges (APCs) and without direct support from a commercial publisher.
We hope you have enjoyed learning a bit more about the resources available at UT and open access in general. For more information, see our OA LibGuide or contact Colleen Lyon, c dot lyon at austin dot utexas dot edu.