One of the benefits of the pressure for open access from funding bodies and governments is that academic publishers have opened their archives, and full text is typically available for papers from five years after publication. This is particularly valuable for mathematicians, since an important paper will still have impact long after five years have passed.
I have begun the job of putting links to full text versions of my papers into my publications list. While doing this, I observed that publishers have taken very different attitudes about how this is done. I am using the DOI mechanism wherever possible. There are two different sorts of information that publishers can provide: the actual paper (probably as a PDF file), and publication and citation information.
Here are how three academic publishers do it.
- Oxford University Press have what is certainly the friendliest system I have found. They have attached DOIs to all the papers in their archive. The DOI takes you to a page with two frames, one of which has the PDF of the paper (which can be downloaded directly in Firefox), the other the citation details and information about the journal (which is useful to have available when you download, as you will probably need to label the file appropriately). The two frames have their own URLs, and can be linked to together or separately. Here is an example:
- Peter J. Cameron, Finite permutation groups and finite simple groups, Bull. London Math. Soc. 13 (1981), 1-22; doi: 10.1112/blms/13.1.1
- Springer-Verlag don’t, as far as I can see, use DOIs for this purpose, but have their own SpringerLink system. This gives journal and citation information, with a prominent button for downloading the PDF (but with the slight problem that you cannot then see the citation information while you download). Here is an example:
- Peter J. Cameron, Dual polar spaces, Geometriae Dedicata 12 (1982), 75-85; full text
- Elsevier once again use DOIs, which take you to the citation and journal information page. This has a download button, but almost as prominently a button labelled “Get rights and content”. To my eyes, this looks as if they are reserving the right to withdraw the free download at some future time. Here is an example:
- Peter J. Cameron, Extending symmetric designs, J. Combinatorial Theory (A) 14 (1973), 215-220; doi: 10.1016/0097-3165(73)90023-X