YorkSpace FAQ

What is YorkSpace?

YorkSpace is York University’s digital repository for research and teaching materials created by the York University community and its partners. Like other institutional digital repositories that universities have created worldwide, it provides the infrastructure to freely disseminate and preserve the intellectual output of the institution. Osgoode Hall Law School uses the Osgoode Digital Commons for this purpose. (See the Osgoode Digital Commons FAQ)

How are journals going to respond to the deposit of articles in YorkSpace?

First, in order to deposit an article in YorkSpace (or any other repository) you must comply with, or negotiate different terms for, the journal publication agreement.  Journals set policies for deposit in repositories as they deem appropriate.   

Second, one way that some journals protect their subscription revenue is to impose embargoes on when the article can appear in a repository after it has appeared in the journal.  These embargoes are typically a year or less. The YorkSpace repository includes a feature to comply with these publisher embargoes when required.

Finally, most journals are increasingly aware of and responsive to institutional and funding agency requirements for online archiving and open access publishing. Faculty and researchers are encouraged to choose journals that allow their authors to comply with an institutional policy such as this one. It is expected that, over time, more journals will adapt their publication agreements to permit compliance in order to attract or retain authors from institutions with Open Access policies.

How many journal publishers allow articles to be deposited in a repository like YorkSpace?  

According to a 2008 survey, between 70 and 80% of journal publishers already allow authors to deposit articles they publish in an institutional repository.[1] This number is echoed by the Sherpa/RoMEO database, which maintains current data pertaining to publisher self-archiving policies.[2] The York University policy requires self-archiving  of scholarly articles, so authors should consider publisher  policies when deliberating between journals.

What should I do if the publisher agreement does not permit deposit in a repository like YorkSpace?

There are  a number of options. One is simply to obtain a waiver and not deposit the article in the repository. This is the least desirable option in light of the spirit of the policy.  If the publication agreement includes an assignment of copyright to to publisher without granting back a license to the author or otherwise removes the option  to archive the article in a digital or institutional repository like YorkSpace, the author can try to  strike out or modifying any language in the agreement that grants exclusive rights to the publisher or add new language that permits such archiving. Alternatively authors can use the SPARC Canadian Author’s Addendum, or the Scholars Copyright Addendum Engine. Both tools give authors  several options from which to select and then will generate a PDF contract addendum that can be printed out, attached to the agreement and submitted to the publisher. Authors are also free to choose another publisher. See the Sherpa Romeo site for a listing of publisher copyright policies and archiving policies. The Authors’ Alliance offers information, tools and resources for authors encountering these challenges. York University librarians and archivists can also provide assistance. Please send a message to: OA-CONTACTS@YORKU.CA

What steps do I have to take to deposit an article in YorkSpace?

Instructions for deposit can be found on the YorkSpace website.  YorkSpace staff are striving to make the deposit process as easy as possible and welcome feedback.  After adoption of the policy, they will continue soliciting input from faculty on the design, ease of use, and functionality of depositing their articles in YorkSpace.

Can I delay access to my article in YorkSpace?

Yes, faculty and researchers can submit your article to YorkSpace with the instruction that the article not be accessible for a specified period of time after publication (an embargo).  Doing this may make some publishers more comfortable with this policy.  In this case, the article will not become publicly available in the repository until after the period of time designated has elapsed.

Would the policy apply to co-authored papers?

Yes, the policy applies to co-authored papers where one or more authors is a York faculty member or researcher. Joint authors are those who participate as authors in the preparation of the article with the intention that their contributions be merged into inseparable or interdependent parts of the whole.  They share ownership of copyright in the resulting work and, in Canada, must act in concert or obtain permission from all co-owners before exercising an exclusive right. As such, co-authors are not advised to deposit an article in any repository without the knowledge and consent of the co-authors.  

What if I routinely deposit my articles in another open access repository?

If an article is available in another open access repository, the policy is satisfied. Faculty and researchers affiliated with York University are, however, encouraged to also deposit their articles with YorkSpace as appropriate.  Deposit in another repository, such as PubMed Central, arXiv.org, or SSRN, does not preclude an author from also depositing in York’s institutional repository.  As part of the implementation of the policy, we will be seeking ways to work with existing repositories already used by York faculty members and capturing articles authored by York faculty where permissible.

My publisher offers open access to articles it publishes for a fee and I have paid this fee.  How does this relate to the policy?

Some grants support the payment of Author Processing Fees to allow for Open Access publication. For authors who do not wish to pay this fee, the publisher still may allow the deposit of some version of the article other than the final one in the institutional repository.

Some society-based journals are supported about 1/3 through membership fees, 1/3 through subscriptions, and 1/3 through author page charges.  If a society-based journal converts from a subscription-based business model to an OA journal model, how then would the journal make up the 1/3 of revenues lost from subscriptions?

This policy does not address the business models of how each society chooses to run a journal.  The society may choose to impose embargoes to protect subscription revenues. This policy seeks to promote York faculty and researcher-authored scholarship by maintaining an independent copy of the work in perpetuity and by providing and maintaining public access to it.

Who can answer questions that are not on this list?

You can send queries to opendeposit@yorku.ca


[1] The study, by The Publishing Research Consortium, an industry “think tank,” can be found at http://www.publishingresearch.net/documents/JournalAuthorsRights.pdf

[2] Sherpa/RoMEO finds that 80% of the publishers listed via their database allow some form of self-archiving: http://www.sherpa.ac.uk/romeo/statistics.php?la=en&fIDnum=|&mode=simple