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Q&A Forum

Where people post questions and get answers about CrimRxiv and related matters (e.g., open access, copyright, licenses, effect on peer-review, etc.)

Published onMay 25, 2021
Q&A Forum

This page has questions and answers (Q&A) about using CrimRxiv and related matters (e.g., open access, copyright, licenses, effects on peer-review, etc.).1 To see all questions at once, click “CONTENTS” near this page’s upper-right corner; you can skip to a question by clicking on it.

There are three ways to submit questions to this forum: best is to use the “COMMENTS” field (at this page’s end) to “Start a Discussion”; or, email us or tweet at us.

Additional Q&A resources are found on the page, How To CrimRxiv, and the website, Outside our organization, you can learn more about (green) open access at many websites. We recommend the supplemental page for Suber’s Open Access and the Open Access Directory.

What can I share on CrimRxiv?

Currently, you can share your papers, specifically your postprints (i.e., author accepted manuscripts) and preprints, working papers, and grey lit. Later, you will be able to share other criminological outputs, such as reviews, data, code, presentations, and educational materials.

What’s a “postprint”?

A “postprint” is a paper that has been accepted for publication in an outlet (e.g., a journal), prior to being formatted or likewise changed by the publisher.2

What are a “preprint, working paper, and grey lit?”

A “preprint” is a paper that has not been accepted for publication but was, is, or soon will be under review.3 Some people define “working paper” the same way. It may also be defined as a paper that is complete, at least as a first draft, but not considered ready for review. Some people define “grey lit” as including preprints and working papers. It also may include reports, white papers, and other “paper-like” outputs.

Does CrimRxiv publish (i.e., make public) all submissions?

Not necessarily. We are developing a moderation policy that concretely specifies what is in scope and, thus, what will be published. Currently, publication is at the discretion of the director.

How can I share on CrimRxiv?

There are two ways to share your papers on CrimRxiv: import or link. The “imported way” refers to bringing your paper into the PubPub text editor. The “linked way” refers to linking with an open access paper that was first shared elsewhere. For more information about these issues, see How To Submit.

I already shared my paper on another platform, so should I share it on CrimRxiv, too?

If you want people to find your work by browsing (as compared to searching), then you should share via CrimRxiv. If you already shared your paper elsewhere, we recommended putting it on CrimRxiv using the “linked way” (see above). For more information about choosing between platforms and using multiple ones, see Whether & How To Share a Single Work Across Multiple Platforms.

Does sharing my paper the “imported way” versus the “linked way” affect its visibility or accessibility?

Your choice of the imported way or linked way (see above) has no effect on how the resultant Pub appears on CrimRxiv. Thus, imported and linked papers are equally browsable. However, compared to imported papers, linked papers may show lower in search results. That is because search engines will more highly rank pages with more information.  

Does sharing a preprint on CrimRxiv jeopardize peer-review or publication elsewhere (e.g., a journal)?

All major criminology publishers expressly permit authors to share preprints, immediately and most anywhere, including CrimRxiv. However, it is possible that an editor will look down on the practice. It also is possible that by making a paper public on CrimRxiv (or another platform), the peer-review process will be affected. For more information about these issues, see The Utility of Making Your Preprints Open Access.

What about working papers and grey lit?

Based on our definition of the “working paper” and “grey lit,” there is no reason to be concerned about sharing them on CrimRxiv (assuming you own the copyright, use the linked way, or the work is in the public domain).

When I submit a preprint to a journal, should I notify the editor(s) that it is on CrimRxiv?

It is polite to let the editor(s) know your paper is on CrimRxiv. When submitting to some journals, you will see a field to provide this notice. And/or, you can include something simple in the cover letter, such as “This paper is on CrimRxiv at ‘this DOI or URL.’”

What do I need to know about “copyright” and “licenses” to share my paper on CrimRxiv?

Yes. For some publishers, you can immediately share your postprint on CrimRxiv. Other publishers require you to wait a specified period, usually 12 to 24 months; for details, see our List of Criminology Journals. There are simple solutions to that problem: share your preprint (see above); share via your personal website with a link to CrimRxiv (for details, see here); and, to prevent this problem in the future, sign the Individual Open Access License.

No. As (co)contributor to the paper, you retain its copyright. You could choose to give your copyright to CrimRxiv, but we do not advise or request that. At the other extreme, you can choose to put the paper in the public domain, which means no one has copyright. Between those extremes (copyright and public domain) are Creative Commons (CC) licenses. Putting a license on a paper does not negate your copyright. Rather, a license informs other people of how, if at all, they can share or adapt your paper. As the owner of your work’s copyright, you have the right to decide which license is best.

When I share a paper on CrimRxiv, which license should I use?

Currently, the default license for all papers is CC BY, meaning it is legal for people to share and adapt them. However, we change postprints to CC BY NC ND because that is required by publishers, usually. For any Pub, you can choose the license. To help you choose, Creative Commons provides this resource. On CrimRxiv, the other options include CC BY NC and CC BY ND. You can change the license at the end of a Pub page by clicking the pencil icon to the right of “LICENSE.”

If my paper has one or more co-contributors (i.e., coauthors), do I need their permission to share it on CrimRxiv?

Legally, no. But we recommend consulting with your co-contributor(s) before sharing a work on any platform.

What are “PubPub” and a “Pub”?

PubPub is “[t]he open-source, privacy-respecting, all-in-one collaborative publishing platform for communities small and large.” CrimRxiv is one of many “Communities” on PubPub.

Communities are publishing groups focused on a particular topic, theme, or expertise. They can be a university press or a single monograph; they can be a journal, research group, or conference. You can start your community or browse any of the existing PubPub communities today.4

A “Pub” is the webpage on which papers and other scholarly outputs are edited, formatted/styled, and disseminated. To quote PubPub:

Pubs are the core object of PubPub. If you’re a journal, for example, you’ll want to use Pubs to create your articles. If you’re writing a book, Pubs will be your chapters. PubPub’s editor saves in real-time, allows for multi-user editing, and supports everything from images to tables, citations, videos and more.5


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