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Many authors and readers share journal and book content with others. Some of the most common ways that content is shared are:

  • Emailing a link or PDF to colleagues.
  • Posting a link or PDF on a personal website or institutional website.
  • Archiving a version of the content in an institutional repository.
  • Posting a link or PDF in a social sharing site such as ResearchGate,, or SSRN.

Sharing is important. We support responsible sharing.

Content sharing is a natural and vital part of research. It helps to disseminate and raise awareness about new findings and to stimulate discussion and further progress.

Social sharing is the use of social sharing sites to share content widely: it makes sharing more efficient and effective. Social sharing sites can also help researchers to build their reputations and to connect with other researchers.

Social sharing is developing rapidly, with new and improved online services to enable content discovery and access. Researchers are sharing more and more, but content is not always shared in a responsible manner. We are positively engaged with social sharing and want to support it without undermining the publication of high quality books and journals upon which research and learning depends.

What do we mean by responsible sharing?

Responsible sharing means respecting publishers’ sharing policies. It means sharing in a way that does not undermine the sustainability of the high quality publications on which research and learning depend. 

What do you need to do if you want to share your work? 

We have clear policies for the responsible sharing of content, for example we don't normally allow final version PDFs to be posted online or shared. Please see our full policies for journalsbooks and Elements.

We also encourage you to link to your work on Cambridge Core, which will allow us to track usage and provide you with information about the impact of your work.

What are the risks of sharing?

An important aspect of publishing is that we must demonstrate usage of our products to our customers. For example, we provide detailed usage reports to librarians to help them determine the value that our products have for them. Authors can also use usage metrics to demonstrate the impact of their work in a variety of ways. We can only track usage on our site, however, so usage of our content on other sites won’t be represented.

Social sharing can damage journals and books if large volumes of content, especially the final published Versions of Record, are freely available on sharing sites. This can lead to lower usage of content on our site and reduced demand from faculty, leading to cancelled subscriptions and lower sales. This in turn puts the continued viablity of our books and journals at risk.

What is CUP doing to ensure that social sharing is sustainable and responsible?

There will not be a single solution for sharing. We need to experiment in a variety of ways. We are currently focussed on:

  • Developing new ways to support sharing, allowing authors and readers to easily share content in a responsible manner;
  • Encouraging discussion and debate about how sharing can benefit researchers and the wider community, and how sharing can be compatible with the continued publication of high quality books and journals.

Further information about social sharing

We endorse the following two cross-industry initiatives:

How Can I Share It?
A website to raise awareness about sharing and to help authors location information about what they can share.

STM Association's Voluntary Principles on Article Sharing

A document to help guide ongoing conversations and the development of new services that encourage and enable responsible social sharing.