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Publishing and Scholarly Communications: Journal Article Publishing

Journal Publishing

Publishing as a government employee (or contractor) can be a confusing and tends to run on a much longer timeline than traditional academic publishing; with manuscript management systems, the need for internal reviews, approvals, and IQA reviews. 

For more information about the approval process please see NOAA Framework for Internal Review and Approval of Fundamental Research Communications.

Preprints vs. Post-prints vs. Publisher's version

  • Preprint: a manuscript draft that has not yet been subject to formal peer review
  • Accepted manuscript, post-print, or post-referreed: a manuscript draft after it has been peer reviewed but does not have publisher added content like pagination and logos.
  • Publisher's version: final version of a manuscript, after all edits and typesetting, that is posted on the publisher's website.
  • Version of Record (VOR): Refers to the authoritative version of an article; often times this is the publisher's version of a publications linked on their website and accessible via DOI.

Embargoes Explained

An embargo is a mechanism for publishers to restrict access to publications for a duration of time as determined by the publisher. Embargoes can be levied on the publisher's version as well as accepted manuscript versions. The most common embargo periods are between 6 and 12 months in the STEM, but can be upwards of 24 months or more in the social sciences and humanities. Embargoes are laid out within the publisher transfer agreements, so it is important for authors to review these terms before signing. 

Common Myths About Embargoes:

Myth: I cannot submit my article to the NOAA IR until the after the embargo period has passed. 

Truth: Per the NOAA PARR plan the publication should be submitted to the NOAA IR within 12 months of publication, regardless of embargo periods. Once submitted, the IR team will determine the end of the embargo date for the author and make sure that the file is available at that time.


Myth: Once the embargo is over, I can freely use the publisher's version of the article on my website and in the NOAA IR. 

Truth: Not necessarily. As mentioned above, embargoes can be levied on either version of the publication--oftentimes it is on the manuscript version. The terms of  your copyright transfer agreement with the publisher is what will determine which version of the article can be used (either accepted manuscript or the publisher's version). If you are unsure, the NOAA IR staff can help you make that determination. 

Tools for Selecting a Journal

Below are a few resources to that can help identify journal policies, credibility, open access policies, and more: 

  • Sherpa/Romeo: the site aggregates and analogizes publisher's open access policies and requirements; including self-archiving capapbilities for authors and institutions.
  • Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ): a community-curated online directory that indexes and provides access to high quality, open access, peer-reviewed journals.
  • Cabells: an online resource provided by the NOAA Central Library that offers information on journals such as evaluation metrics, open access policies, and more. The site allows you to compare journals and offers insight into some that may have predatory elements. 
  • CHORUS: a service NOAA has contracted with to locate funded research that NOAA has supported. Can be searched and find information about participating publishers and journals.

Article Retractions