About Nottingham ePrints

Nottingham ePrints is one of a global network of open access repositories, holding peer-reviewed papers, book chapters and other research outputs and making them freely available on the web. Note: Nottingham ePrints is an online repository, not a publisher.

eprint: electronic copy of an academic paper
preprint: pre-refereed, unpublished, paper
postprint: post-refereed paper
reprint / offprint: published paper

What are eprints?

"Removing access barriers to this literature will accelerate research, enrich education, share the learning of the rich with the poor and the poor with the rich, make this literature as useful as it can be..."
Budapest Open Access Initiative.

Eprints are electronic copies of academic papers. Eprint archives allow authors to make their pre-refereed 'preprints' and their post-refereed, published 'reprints' freely available to the world scholarly and scientific community on a scale that is impossible in paper.

At Nottingham we are focusing on making postprints freely available to a wider audience.

There is no need to stop publishing in traditional journals - depositing an eprint is complementary to traditional publishing.

What are the advantages to you?

"Even small barriers to access reduce usage significantly"
Odlyzko, Learned Publishing (2002) 15:7-9.

Wider access
No library can afford a subscription to every possible journal and so most of the research literature is not easily available to most researchers. Eprints archives lower access barriers by making papers freely available.

"online articles are more highly cited because of easier availability"
Lawrence, Nature (2001) 411:521.

Improved impact
Eprint archives make papers more visible. Papers are freely available for others to consult and cite. Research shows that free online availability substantially increases a paper's impact.

"the papers in all registered Eprints Archives can be harvested and searched ... providing seamless access to all the eprints, across all the Eprint Archives, as if they were all in one global, virtual archive"
Harnad, For Whom the Gate Tolls?

Cross searching
Eprints servers create the potential for a global network of cross-searchable research information. The contents of servers around the world can be searched simultaneously by using the OAI (Open Archives Initiative) protocol. The Nottingham eprints archive is cross-searchable using OAI standards.

You can cross search OAI archives using the ARC experimental search engine or OAIster which aims to provide a one-stop shop for users interested in useful digital resources. Eprints archives are also indexed by standard search engines such as Google (e.g. search Google for articles on Futuretalk by Peter Stockwell).

"One especially important feature of full texts -- their reference list -- is arguably the most natural and powerful way of interconnecting and navigating this literature."
The Open Citation Project

Value added services
Eprints servers can provide authors with details of hits on their papers and automatically produce an online publications list (e.g. Barrett). Departmental publication lists (e.g. Division of Mathematical Physics) are also possible. Developing services such as the Open citation Project aim to provide enhanced reference linking and give authors citation and impact analysis of their work.

What can you do?

Retain copyright

We would encourage you to keep copyright wherever possible, or at least the right to post a copy of your work on the web. There are a number of things you can do:

  • Actively support journals that have liberal copyright agreements
  • Talk to your publisher if they have a restrictive agreement and negotiate an exception
  • Amend the copyright agreement you sign to keep (at least) electronic distribution rights.

Many publishers will actually allow you to renegotiate or amend the agreement if you raise this with them. A suggested wording for adding to the copyright form has been put forward by Professor Stevan Harnad of the University of Southampton:

"I hereby transfer to <publisher or journal> all rights to sell or lease the text (on-paper and on-line) of my paper <paper title>. I retain only the right to distribute it for free for scholarly/scientific purposes, in particular, the right to self-archive it publicly online on the World Wide Web."

More information on keeping the copyright. PDF

Deposit papers

"The freeing of their present and future refereed research from all access- and impact-barriers forever is now entirely in the hands of researchers. Posterity is looking over our shoulders, and will not judge us flatteringly if we continue to delay"
Harnad, For Whom the Gate Tolls?

If you are a member of the University of Nottingham then we would like you to deposit copies of your published articles and conference papers on our eprints server.

Assuming that the publisher allows self-archiving or that you have retained the right to self-archive then the Deposit Guide gives details of how to do this. Please note that we can only archive publisher produced PDFs with explicit permission of the publisher, deposit your own final version of the manuscript instead if this is not the case.

For further information / advice please contact your subject librarian or eprints@nottingham.ac.uk.

Possible concerns

Research papers are 'give away' literature from which authors wish to gain impact not income. This eprint initiative does not encompass other forms of published literature from which authors expect a royalty.


Many traditional journals will allow author self archiving, although most do not publicise this. Stevan Harnad has discussed authors' concerns on copyright.

Quality control and peer review

There is no need to stop publishing in traditional journals and peer review is not compromised by eprints archives.
See Harnad's answer to peer review worries. The most important point is that many papers can be published in journals and also deposited in an eprint archive.

Further information

For further information on eprints at Nottingham please contact your subject librarian.

Site Policies

Information on Nottingham ePrints policies regarding accessing and re-using deposited items can be viewed on our separate Policies page.


This archive is running on eprints.org open archive software, a freely distributable archive system available from eprints.org.

Powered by eprints.org Eprints.org is dedicated to the freeing of the refereed research literature online through author/institution self-archiving.

The generic version of eprints is fully interoperable with all other OAI-Compliant Open Archives. This means that it no longer matters where papers are archived; the papers in all registered OAI-compliant Archives can be harvested using the OAI protocol into one global "virtual archive" by Open Archives Service Providers such as the Cross Archive Searching Service.

The Open Archives Initiative The Open Archives Initiative develops and promotes interoperability standards that aim to facilitate the efficient dissemination of content. The Open Archives Initiative has its roots in an effort to enhance access to e-print archives as a means of increasing the availability of scholarly communication. Continued support of this work remains a cornerstone of the Open Archives program. The fundamental technological framework and standards that are developing to support this work are, however, independent of the both the type of content offered and the economic mechanisms surrounding that content, and promise to have much broader relevance in opening up access to a range of digital materials.

Nottingham ePrints is running eprints.org software, and complies with the The Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI2.0) for open archive interoperability. Its OAI Base URL is http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/cgi/oai2.

Software Version: EPrints 3.3.12