Answered By: Ana Enriquez
Last Updated: Aug 25, 2023     Views: 1241

Publishing agreements often distinguish between three different versions of an article when describing what self-archiving is acceptable:

  • Pre-print (or preprint)
    • Version submitted to journal (pre-refereeing), or earlier versions (e.g., an earlier version posted on a preprint server such as arXiv)
    • Version submitted to journal (pre-refereeing) is also called the "submitted manuscript" or "submitted version"
  • Post-print (or postprint)
    • Author’s final version, post-refereeing, without publisher’s formatting
    • Also called the "accepted manuscript" or "final accepted version"
    • For more tips on identifying the accepted manuscript version, see our FAQ response on accepted manuscripts.
  • Final version
    • Version as it appears in journal
    • Also called the "version of record,” the "publisher's version," or the "PDF version" (the latter is a misnomer)

You can use the Sherpa Romeo database to check your ability to deposit the pre-print, post-print, or final version of your article in an open repository such as ScholarSphere.

Penn State's open access policy focuses on the accepted manuscript version, because most journals allow that version to be shared widely. If you are able to share the final published version, that also satisfies Penn State's policy. With questions, please contact the Libraries' Office of Scholarly Communications and Copyright.

Example images

Accepted manuscript

A screenshot of the first page of an accepted manuscript, in basic Microsoft Word formatting, with page numbers for published version noted

Final version

A screenshot of the final published version of an article, with the journal's formatting

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