This is a follow up to my post on Open Access in May.
A few times recently in work, I’ve been asked if there’s a publicly accessible version of an academic article available. This wasn’t because we wanted to get a hold of a copy of the articles: we already had them through our subscription services, and the solicitors had read them. What the solicitors were wanting was a free, public version of the article, which they could direct clients and other contacts to, saying “read this, it’s important/relevant/well written”. They wanted to highlight that the content of the article was useful, and that the author was a reliable and authoritative source.
Sadly, I wasn’t able to get a hold of a copy of any of these articles, because the authors hadn’t deposited a copy of their work into their institutional repositories. That meant that the solicitors couldn’t direct their clients and contacts to read the useful materials written by those authors, and the authors missed the opportunity for their work to be publicised more widely, and for their name to be associated with peer approval.
So please, authors: if you write it, deposit it! Open Access is for YOUR benefit just as much as ours!