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Eprints FAQs


What are eprints?

Eprints are electronic publications, and can be pre-prints (version of a paper submitted for peer review), post-prints (the final peer reviewed version which has been accepted for publishing), book chapters, conference papers, working papers, technical reports, etc. Eprints allow free access to research papers, thus ensuring a much wider potential audience. This, in turn, leads to a potentially higher number of citations.

Who may deposit eprints in the archive?

Staff of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, Plymouth Marine Laboratory and the Sir Alister Hardy Foundation for Ocean Science may deposit papers in the NMBL eprint archive. If you deposit an eprint you may restrict access to it and can request its removal at any time.

What is eligible?

Eligible papers are those that:

  • are authored by a member of staff from the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, Plymouth Marine Laboratory or the Sir Alister Hardy Foundation for Ocean Science. In the case of multiple authors, at least one must be from the above organizations.
  • have copyright clearance  
    • you as the author must hold the copyright and have obtained permission from any co-authors, or permission has been obtained from the publisher, or the publisher as copyright holder allows eprints to be held in an institutional repository. The Sherpa/Romeo list is a useful guide to publishers' policies.
  • are one of the following document types:
    • article from a journal, magazine, newspaper 
    • chapter or section in a book 
    • a book or a conference volume 
    • paper, poster, speech, lecture or presentation given at a conference, workshop or other
    • monograph i.e.. a technical report, project report, documentation, manual, working paper or discussion paper 

NB. It is important to check publishers' agreements carefully before you deposit a paper, as certain conditions may be stipulated. For instance, many publishers are happy to allow the deposit of an author's final version of a paper in an institutional repository, but few allow the publisher's own pdf to be deposited. Ensure that you check the Sherpa/Romeo list of publishers' policies before depositing. If you are still in doubt, contact the Eprints administrator at nmbl@mba.ac.uk

What type of file will publishers allow me to deposit?

The best file format to deposit is a pdf. Before depositing any file you must check the publishers' policy on the SHERPA listings.

What about copyright?

This section is intended to give practical guidance on copyright issues related to self-archiving e-documents within Marine & Ocean Sciences ePrints @ Plymouth. It is not intended as legal advice. If you need further guidance or have any queries, please contact nmbl@mba.ac.uk

  • The copyright for the unrefereed preprint resides entirely with the author before it is submitted for peer-reviewed publication, hence it can be self-archived irrespective of the copyright policy of the journal to which it is eventually submitted.
  • The copyright for the peer-reviewed postprint will depend on the wording of the copyright agreement which the author signs with the publisher.
  • Many publishers will allow the peer-reviewed postprint to be self-archived, but you may need to request this. The copyright transfer agreement will either specify this right explicitly or the author can inquire about it directly. If you are uncertain about the terms of your agreement, a table of copyright policies is available from the JISC ROMEO project, now hosted by SHERPA. Wherever possible, you are advised to modify your copyright agreement so that it does not disallow self-archiving .
  • In the rare case where you have signed a very restrictive copyright transfer form in which you have agreed explicitly not to self-archive the peer-reviewed postprint, you are encouraged to self-archive, alongside your already-archived preprint, a "corrigenda" file, listing the substantive changes the user would need to make in order to turn the unrefereed preprint into the refereed postprint.
  • Technical reports. Even though you are the author, you must check with the organisation who contracted you to do the research to make sure that they do not own the copyright before depositing your document in the eprint archive.
  • The material on this site is made available for the purpose of non-commercial research or private study. All use of this site should be in compliance with current UK copyright legislation. Click here for more information

What is Browsing?

Browsing is a good way to access documents if you don't have a specific idea of what you're looking for. There are two ways to browse the archive, by subject, by year and by organization (MBA, PML or SAHFOS).

To browse the archive either select Browse from the front page or from the navigation bar at the top of the screen. Then choose which property you wish to browse by e.g. "subject".

You will be presented with a list of possible values, select one of these, and you will be given a list of references to documents in the archive (if any) which match this value. To access a paper, simply click on its reference in the display.

On the abstract page, you should be able to see what subjects are pertinent to the current document. Clicking on one of those subjects will take you back to the relevant browse by subject view. 

How do I search the archive?

The archive offers two levels of searching, simple and advanced. They are similar, but the advanced form lets you perform a finer-grained search using more fields. Access the simple search using the Search the Archive link on the front page, or using the navigation bar at the top of the screen. To perform an advanced search, use the advanced search link at the top of the simple search page. The keywords used are based on those in the Aquatic Sciences & Fisheries Thesaurus, http://www4.fao.org/asfa/asfa.htm

See Help for more information on searching. 

Who can register?

Only MBA, PML & SAHFOS staff are eligible to register.

Why do I need to register?

Certain services require you to register with the system so that it can identify you, such as the document depositing services. When you register with the system, you can register a username, email address and password which must be confirmed. The system will email you a confirmation URL to visit to enable the password.

How do I deposit a paper?

Detailed information on how to deposit material is available in the user guide. Please contact the NMBL, nmbl@mba.ac.uk if you have any queries.

The subject categories are rather vague – how do I find one appropriate to my research? 

This is because they are based on the Library of Congress classification system, used by most libraries throughout the world although not by the NMBL. The categories are broad but bear in mind that keywords are added and most users will search for papers rather than browse a category. You can select up to 3 categories: most are listed under science but oceanography and environmental sciences are in category G , Aquaculture & Fisheries are in category S.