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Increasing the Visibility and Impact of Your Research

Benefits of making your work accessible

When it comes to making your scholarly work accessible, it can be beneficial to think in terms of maximizing your potential readership. Many researchers assume that if they publish in the top journals in their field, anyone who might be interested in reading their work will have the opportunity to do so. However, a significant percentage of your potential readers may not have access to the journals in which you publish. Making your work accessible to readers who do not have access to high cost scholarly journals can result in an increase in your readers, and can even result in increased citations. This phenomenon is sometimes referred to as the "Open Access citation advantage." For a recent study of the Open Access citation advantage, see:

Piwowar H., et al. 2018. The state of OA: a large-scale analysis of the prevalence and impact of Open Access articles. PeerJ 6:e4375 

How to make your work accessible

To maximize your potential readership, consider publishing your work in open access journals. To find high quality open access journals in your field, consult the Directory of Open Access Journals

When you publish in a subscription journal, you can also make your work open access by depositing a version of your article in an open access repository, including the Research Repository, WVU's institutional repository. Many disciplines also have well established digital repositories. To find an open access repository for your area, search OpenDOAR (Directory of Open Access Repositories). To learn more about sharing your work in open access repositories, visit the Research Repository libguide

Note that your publication agreement will describe the conditions under which you are permitted to deposit your published works in open access repositories. Often, publishers allow authors to deposit their author's accepted manuscript, but do not allow the deposit of the final publisher's PDF. More information about these policies is available in our article versions guide

If your publication agreement does not permit you to share your work in the ways that you would like to, consider negotiating with the publisher to alter the terms of the agreement. Our guide to publication agreements contains resources to help you with these negotiations.