Tell Your Story - Impact & Engagement: Make Your Work Available

For researchers, scholars, teachers, extension agents, students, and others, this guide highlights options to share your work and get to know others with like interests.

Make Your Work Available

Why Share my Work?

Equitable Access

Open Access is a big topic these days. The basic definition of OA is free online access to research. This helps researchers more quickly and easily discover other research, find collaborators, and have more equitable access at institutions and in countries were access is limited.

Broader Engagement and Higher Impact

For an individual researcher, making your work OA also means making your research more visible and discoverable online to a broader audience. Consider those outside your discipline who may not have access to the journal where you publish as well as members of the public who may need to research a health topic or disease, and practitioners who use your research for practical purposes, like doctors, nurses, therapists, city planners, and so on.

OA also means that with more visibility and discoverability, your work can potentially become more influential in academic circles and in the public sphere, which can be measured through citation metrics, usage data, and altmetrics (online attention to research).

Repositories Increase Visibility

Institutional repositories and other repositories that provide permanent links and access (see below for examples) are usually the best options for making your work available. These repositories are indexed on major search engines like Google, Google Scholar, and Microsoft Academic, to name a few, and they provide perpetual access and a permanent identifier (which is trackable through usage statistics, citation metrics, and altmetrics).

Make Your Work Available (the Legal Way)

Learn about and use the following resources to discover current copyright policies for a journal, negotiate rights before publishing, and discover what you can legally share online after publication.

Publishers mostly allow deposit of:

  • Preprints (submitted manuscripts) 
  • Postprints (revised, post-peer review, accepted manuscripts) 

Not sure about which to choose for your work, or whether you *can* post something? Contact impactservices@vt.edu for a personal consultation, in-person, by phone, or via Zoom.

Hint: You can provide a link to your Open Access (OA) version of your research (e.g., preprint and/or postprint) in your Elements profile and/or ORCID iD. Here is an example of a journal article listed on an ORCID iD with a link to the publisher's version (the digital object identifier, or DOI, that begins with dx.doi.org) and an institutional repository handle link to the OA post-print:

Example of a record in ORCID with a DOI link and an Open Access repository handle link

Platforms and Repositories for Making your Work Available

Research Impact Librarian

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Rachel Miles
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