This is a short post to introduce you all to a great service called SHERPA/RoMEO, run by the University of Nottingham. It describes itself as, "...a searchable database of publisher's policies regarding the self-archiving of journal articles on the web and in Open Access repositories."
Basically, you search for a journal's name, and it explains their exact publishing and copyright policies.
With Elsevier imploding right now, the issue of Open Access is finally gaining some public attention (thanks in no small part to PLoS founder Michael Eisen and colleagues!)
I've published in the Elsevier journal Neuron before so I checked out their policies first. Here's what a SHERPA/RoMEO result looks like:
The results are clean and easy to follow, and should absolutely be used by researchers to help inform them where to publish.
You can see that Neuron doesn't have the greatest policies, but you can pay extra to publish your paper as open access (which wasn't available when I published my paper in 2010, I believe).
I learned about SHERPA/RoMEO via a question on Quora that I asked Mendeley's Head of Academic Outreach, William Gunn, to answer: "Are there any peer-review journals that consider posting results on the author's blog "prior publication" and thus ineligible for publication in their journal?"
He provided a very solid, useful answer, and introduced me to this fantastic service. So thank you, William!
Bookmark this one folks. It's very helpful.