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Publisher version/PDF use in Institutional Repositories

SHERPA runs RoMEO as a service to academic authors and repository managers around the world to summarise publishers' contracts relating to open access archiving.

There is often a question about the use of the publishers own PDF version of research articles and whether these can be archived. It is often believed that all publishers prohibit the use of their own PDF: in fact the situation is very different.

SHERPA has analysed its records to determine which of the 414 publishers listed allow authors to deposit the publishers' version or publishers' PDF of a journal article into the author's institutional repository. 50 publishers allow immediate, un-embargoed deposit into repositories -- even more allow use in restricted circumstances. This means that there is a large volume of work which can be deposited directly into repositories even if the author has not retained their own final draft. We hope that this information will help repository administrators in encouraging deposit into their repositories.

The results have been mounted on the RoMEO site -
Publisher version/PDF use in Institutional Repositories

We have separated the publishers into sub-sets, indicating any restrictions that are imposed by the publishers on the use of their versions. The sub-sets are: no restrictions, embargos, fee required and embargo & fee required.

In total this shows that 69 out of the 414 publishers listed in RoMEO, allow the use of the publishers' final version of an article in an institutional repository in some manner. These 69 publishers cover approximately 1334 journal titles.


RoMEO is an online service which allows users to search for publishers' policies on self-archiving. Each entry is broken down into which versions the author may deposit, the location of the deposit and any attached conditions.

RoMEO is seen as an essential resource by many in the Open Access community. RoMEO is funded by JISC and the Wellcome Trust. Journal information is kindly provided by the British Library's Zetoc service hosted by MIMAS


The award winning SHERPA is based at the University of Nottingham and works on a portfolio of projects related to Open Access and repository development.

SHERPA is a 33 member consortium of research-led universities within the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. SHERPA specialises in promoting and advising on the development of open access repositories. Other services developed by SHERPA include JULIET and OpenDOAR.

RoMEO Administrator

27th August 2008

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