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Reprints and E-prints 

Reprints and E-prints

Ethical and Legal Considerations

Annette Flanagin

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Subscriber: null; date: 26 September 2016

Reprints and E-prints

Publishers of journals may sell reprints and e-prints of journal articles as a source of revenue. Reprints and e-prints may be purchased by authors for personal use, by others for educational purposes, or by commercial entities for promotional purposes. In biomedical journal publishing, a reprint is the republication of an article or collection of articles in which the content is unchanged from the original publication (except perhaps for the inclusion of postpublication corrections). An e-print is a digital reproduction of or an online link to an article or collection of articles, usually PDF files(s). For example, publishers of JAMA and the Archives Journals sell reprints to authors (at relatively low cost) as a service for authors and to the pharmaceutical industry as a source of revenue. JAMA and the Archives Journals also provide authors with complimentary access to their articles as e-prints and sell access to e-prints to commercial entities. Some journals permit authors to post e-prints of their articles (usually PDF files) on personal or other archival/institutional websites (see also 5.6.2, Intellectual Property: Ownership, Access, Rights, and Management, Open-Access Publication and Scientific Journals), and some journals permit commercial entities to purchase and post copies of e-prints on their websites. Note: Reprints and e-prints differ from preprints, which are print and online versions of articles/manuscripts made formally available to others before publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

Journals should establish and follow consistent policies and procedures on the production, sale, review/approval, and distribution/dissemination of reprints and e-prints. For an example of such standards, see those developed for JAMA and the Archives Journals in 5.6.10, Intellectual Property: Ownership, Access, Rights, and Management, Standards for Commercial Reprints and E-prints. Editorial decisions must be free of any influence from the potential for sale of reprints and e-prints, and all such sales must not be permitted to occur until after publication of the original article. Reprinted articles should not be abridged or altered by the purchaser and should not include an advertisement or the advertiser’s logo or other commercial content. A publisher may incorporate or append a correction to a previously published article in a reprint/e-print as long this is noted in the reprint/e-print.

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