Sharing Your Research

So you want to share your research with your colleagues around the globe. But what is the best way? How do you comply with publisher policies around copyright infringement while still sharing your research broadly with your peers?

The Sharing Players 

Social Networking Sites

A social networking site (SNS) is a website that "allows subscribers to interact, typically by requesting that others add them to their visible list of contacts, by forming or joining sub-groups based around shared interests, or publishing content so that a specified group of subscribers can access it."1              

In the academic field, ResearchGate and are the two most popular SNSs in use.

Open Access Repositories 

Open access repositories are websites that "provide free, immediate and permanent access to research results to anyone to use, download, and distribute."2

Some open access repositories collect the research output of a particular institution (institutional repositories) while others collect the research output of a particular field (subject repositories).

Emory University's institutional repository of faculty scholarship is called OpenEmory. It is search engine optimized, so any content in OpenEmory will show up in a Google search.

Some popular subject repositories include arXiv, serving science and math scholars and SocArXiv, serving social scientists.   

Social Networking Sites vs. OpenEmory

Preservation of Research

  • SNSs are not in the business of preservation. They make no guarantee that the research will be there in the future.   
  • OpenEmory is committed to preservation. Emory University has made a strong commitment to preserving and providing permanent access to the scholarly output of our faculty.

Business Model 

  • SNSs are for-profit businesses. While they allow you to join for free, they profit off you and your research through advertising without paying you any royalties.   
  • OpenEmory is a not-for-profit, free service created and maintained through Emory University's Library and Information Technology Services unit. There are no ads.

Email glut 

  • SNSs like ResearchGate and email you a lot. They use email as their primary mechanism for encouraging authors to upload research content onto their sites.   
  • OpenEmory collects content through faculty CV review and self-deposit through Emory FIRST. OpenEmory does not send out unsolicited emails to faculty at all.

Using your data 

  • SNSs want access to your address book and your other social network data (i.e., Facebook, Google, etc.). They can use this data to recruit your peers to their service, using you as the carrot.   
  • OpenEmory is a service for Emory University faculty. We do not require or request access to a faculty member's social networks in order to operate our service.

Compliance with publisher policies about copyright infringement 

  • While SNSs provide some warnings about complying with publisher policies about copyright infringement when you upload articles, they leave the final decision to you. They do not vet content that is uploaded to the system to make sure it complies with publisher policies.   
  • OpenEmory is staff-mediated; when an article is uploaded, our staff reviews it to make sure it complies with the publisher policy; If it doesn't comply, we work with you to make a different version of the article available

Need Help? 

If you have questions or would like to discuss how to retain your rights when publishing or share your research afterwards, please email us at


1Social Networking Site [Def. 1]. In . Retrieved October 18, 2017, from

2Open Access Repository [Def. 2]. In Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved October 18, 2017, from