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Digital Commons

Guide to Digital Commons at Montclair State University

Frequently Asked Questions

I already have an account with ResearchGate or Why should I duplicate my efforts?

There are many factors that could affect your decision to post your work on one of these "academic social network" sites. This presentation by Andree Rathemacher & Julia Lovett, University of Rhode Island, is a great resource on this topic.

 The highlights are below:

  1. Don't let the .edu fool you - these are commercial sites that have no affiliation to an educational institution.
  2. Both sites encourage the upload of the full-text published article. The directions to do so are misleading at best. This could lead to copyright infringement if the author doesn't upload the correct version of their work. Note: since these are commercial websites they do not receive the same permissions as a personal website or institutional repository (like DigitalCommons@Molloy).
  3. The content isn't truly OPEN: requires users to create a login to verify they work at an recognized institution. Many users, such as doctoral students, would not fulfill that requirement.
  4. Is it all about citations? Yes, it is great to be able to track your citations but the DigitalCommons has a download tracking system - so even if a user doesn't cite your work in a new publication, you can see how many users are reading your work.
  5. These sites also do not have the relationship with Google that bepress/DigitalCommons does and do not offer the same search engine optimization.
  6. Elsevier is actively removing their published PDFs from such sites and recently won a case against Sci-Hub regarding copyright infringement.

If you still wish to be a member of one of these communities, you have the option to link to the DigitalCommons record for your work. That would ensure all users of all sites are presented with the approved version of your work and the usage of your work would be tracked in the Author Dashboard.

Why should I bother finding my post-print or pre-print when I can just link to my article on the journal's webpage?

  • Short answer: The goal of a digital repository it to house content and not just serve as a list of citations.
  • Long answer: Statistics. Downloads are easy to track and can be seen on your Author Dashboard. Once you upload a pre-print or post-print you will be able to get usage statistics based on downloads. Currently there is no easy way to track usage when a user clicks on "Link to Full Text" and even the hard way of tracking doesn't guarantee that they looked at your article - only that they looked at the record page and saw the citation information & abstract.
  • Other considerations: In the open-access world of the Digital Commons Network, users have the expectation of finding Full-Text. Users may abandon their search if they can't easily retrieve the article/work that they want.

I am not clear about the difference between a post-print and the published PDF. Since my content is published, I don't understand why it can't just be placed in the Digital Commons.

  • This really boils down to the policy of the publisher. Only about 25% of Publishers allow the use of the Published PDF in institutional repositories. So it's not a matter of finding your article but of finding the allowed version for upload to the Montclair State University Digital Commons.
  • The post-print is the version which comes after the peer-review process but before the formatting done by the publisher. The content is essentially what is in the published PDF but the visuals are different. The Post-Print is not the same as a Publisher's proof which includes formatting and citation information from the publisher.
  • The University of Exeter has this example to help clarify the difference.

How do I revise a submission?

  • To revise a submission that has been posted to the repository, contact the repository administrator with the new version.
  • If the submission has been submitted, but not yet posted, you may revise it via your My Account page:
    • Locate the article on your My Account page, and click the title.
    • Click Revise Submission from the list of options in the left sidebar.
    • Enter your changes in the Revise Submission form, and click Submit at the bottom of the page to submit your changes. (You only need to modify the portion of the form that corresponds to the changes you wish to make.)
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