FAQ icon Questions about Open Access

This is a general FAQ on open scholarship at Indiana University Bloomington. For an questions about our Open Access Policy, go to our OA Policy FAQ page.




I want to submit an article for publication. What options do I have for making it openly accessible?



Look for a quality open access publishing venue.


Publishing open access makes your work immediately freely available, and often allows you to retain full rights to your work. Check out our Discovering Open Access Publishers guide for help finding a quality venue for open access.

Share a version of your work in IUScholarWorks.

If you choose not to publish open access, or want to make a work you have already published in a non-open access venue publicly available, many publishers allow you to share a previous version of your work in an institutional repository. Indiana University's repository is IUScholarWorks, and we can work with you to ensure that you share the correct version.

I’m about to sign a publishing agreement. How can I negotiate with the publisher?

Consult with the library’s Copyright Program for help retaining your author rights. They have experience utilizing addendums that will enable you to keep some or all of your rights.

What is an APC?

An Article Processing Charge (APC) is a fee occasionally charged to authors who wish to make the final version of their work open access. If you run across an APC in a journal in which you wish to publish open access, you can apply for Indiana University Bloomington's APC Fund to cover the cost of the charge and make your work immediately and freely available.

I’ve already signed a publishing agreement. How do I determine if or which version of my work I can share?

Your publishing agreement may mention the publisher’s policy for self-archiving. This will detail which version (preprint, postprint, or final/published) of your work you can share, and any restrictions to sharing, such as embargoes.

If your publishing agreement does not contain such a statement, you may have to locate your publisher’s self-archiving policy. You can search for your journal in SHERPA/RoMEO, a repository of journal self-archiving policies that provides information on versions permitted and publisher restrictions.

We provide consultations for publisher agreements, and can also help you locate your publisher’s self-archiving policy. Contact us at iusw@indiana.edu for assistance.

What is a preprint/postprint version of a publication?

infographic that defines preprint, postprint, and published version

A preprint is the final version of your work that has been submitted to a publisher, but has not yet been peer reviewed. A postprint is the publisher accepted version after it has been peer reviewed, and lastly, the published version, or offprint, is the final typeset version of your work.

What is an ORCiD and why is it important?

ORCID provides researchers with a unique identifier – an ORCID iD – as mechanism for linking their research outputs and activities to their unique research identity. Many publishers and conferences require an ORCID iD for publication submission or registration. ORCID is also integrated into many other systems used by publishers, funders, institutions, and other research-related services. An ORCID iD:

  • Distinguishes you and ensures your research outputs and activities are correctly attributed to you
  • Reliably and easily connects you with your contributions and affiliations
  • Reduces form-filling: you enter data once, have it reused often
  • Improves recognition and discoverability for you and your research outputs
  • Is interoperable: it works with many institutions, funders, and publishers
  • Is persistent: you can use it throughout your research career


What is the difference between IUScholarWorks and IUScholarWorks Open?

IUScholarWorks is used to share a broader spectrum of work and is available for deposit to all IU Bloomington affiliates. IUSW Open is a repository originally intended to accommodate the 2017 IUB open access policy. Thus, it is primarily for hosting and sharing IU faculty-authored scholarly articles published after February 2017. The scope for IUScholarWorks is much larger. Both of these repositories are indexed in Google and other aggregators, and their content is freely available to the general public.

Why does IU Bloomington have an Open Access Policy?

Additional information about the OA Policy, including detailed information about the benefits of the policy and common concerns, is provided in detail on our OA Policy FAQ.

My publisher is asking for an Open Access Policy waiver letter. How do I get one?

When a faculty member opts out of the policy, a waiver letter signed by the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs is generated. This letter waives the university’s license for your article. In IUSW Open, complete the "Opt-out" submission form. Select "Submit" on the IUSW header, and then select the "Opt-out" option. Enter your name, article title, and journal name (ISSN and DOI are recommended but optional). Once submitted, a waiver letter will be automatically generated for download. You will also receive an email with the waiver letter as an attachment. See more detailed information in our step-by-step opt out blog post.

Can I place my dissertation/thesis in IUScholarWorks?

Bloomington graduate students are encouraged to submit their thesis or dissertation to IUScholarWorks in addition to submitting it to the University Graduate School. Simply complete the Theses & Dissertations Submission Form and an IUScholarWorks staff member will notify you as soon as your work is made available.

How can I become a proxy for someone else so that I can submit to IUScholarWorks on their behalf?

Simply fill out our proxy request form. As soon as you obtain their permission and submit the form you can start depositing on their behalf.

My work doesn’t fit into any of the existing collections in IUScholarWorks. What do I do?

E-mail us at iusw@indiana.edu and we can help you find the right place for it. If you know that you need to create a new collection or community, you can do so using our New Collection request form.

I need to remove something from IUScholarWorks. What’s the removal/ revision process?

IUScholarWorks is considered an archive so stable and perpetual access to materials is important. Only under extraordinary circumstances will staff remove content. These circumstances might include falsified/plagiarized research or copyright violations Revisions are accepted, but the original content will also remain available in the repository. You can view a our entire Removal and Revisions Policy for more information. Contact us at iusw@indiana.edu if you have questions or concerns about altering or removing content from IUScholarWorks content.

What is a DOI?

A digital object identifier (DOI) is a unique alphanumeric string to provide a permanent link to specific content and its location on the Internet. IUScholarWorks provides DOIs free of charge for all material deposited in our repository.

Why are DOIs important?

DOIs increase the reach and impact of your work. Publishers, repositories, aggregators, indexers, and providers of research and academic profiles are now relying on DOIs to identify specific works accurately, which in turn more reliably links that work to its authors and creators. Furthermore, metadata and information about individual works are increasingly tied to DOIs. Find out more details on the importance of DOIs, as well as how we mint them.

How can I preserve my data?

There are several options for depositing data: disciplinary repositories, open repositories, and institutional repositories, like our own IUScholarWorks. IUScholarWorks is not limited by field or discipline, but it exists to serve the Indiana University research community. The IUScholarWorks repository follows best practices to ensure data management compliance, longevity, and accessibility of deposited data. The contents are indexed and discoverable through major search engines and all non-embargoed work is publicly accessible. If your data is over 2 GB, it is stored in the Scholarly Data Archive (SDA) and discoverable via IUScholarWorks. For more information, visit our open data page.

I have a large data or video file I’d like to deposit in the repository, IUScholarWorks. How can I share it with scholarly communication department staff?

If you produce large datasets, create video or images, develop software or custom virtual machines, or rely on large packages of files and data in your research, we use a wiki-based widget for transmitting your work to our repository team. This widget is useful for the deposit of big datasets as well as files that merely exceed the 25-50 MB limit imposed on email attachments. Just drag and drop your file on our Transmit Data or Media Files to IUScholarWorks page!