Q. I already post the PDFs of my articles to my personal website/ResearchGate/Academia.edu. Why should I bother also submitting my author manuscripts for inclusion in Scholars Archive?
It’s great that you value the principles of open access such that you take the time to share your work freely with the world. However, unless your publication agreement allowed you to retain copyright, by posting your article online you are violating the copyright in the article held by your publisher. We know that the copyright system is not set up to advance the interests of most academic authors, and that not being able to post our own work is counter-intuitive, frustrating, and “unfair." The law is still the law, however, and there is some degree of risk involved in such actions, even if the risk is small.
In short, posting your articles in this way is an individualistic response to the much broader problem of the inaccessibility of published scholarship. On the other hand, the UAlbany Open Access Policy is a response that makes it possible for the University as an institution to help you make your work openly available, and to do so in a legal manner.
Finally, it is worth noting that libraries have been around for thousands of years and are committed to the preservation of, and access to, the human record. Who knows how long ResearchGate, Academia.edu, or even your own website will survive?
Do you have questions about Scholarly Communications at UAlbany? You can ask our team by using any of the contact options listed here.