A comment by Gavin Robinson over at Thoughts on Military History reminded me that I've been a bit slack with self-archiving. This is the policy some academic journals have which allows authors to upload copies of their articles to their own websites, with certain caveats. For SAGE journals the policy is that you can
At any time, circulate or post on any repository or website the version of the article that you submitted to the journal (i.e. the version before peer-review) or an abstract of the article.
Which I did do for my first peer-reviewed article, 'World police for world peace: British internationalism and the threat of a knock-out blow from the air, 1919-1945' which appeared in War in History, a SAGE journal, in 2010. That version is only slightly different from the one which was accepted for publication, so I was quite happy to make it available for download.
But I'd forgotten that SAGE's policy also allows you to
At least 12 months after publication, post on any non-commercial* repository or website* the version of your article that was accepted for publication.
Since 'World police for world peace' was published in July 2010 I could have put the accepted, peer-reviewed version up five months ago. Well, I've now rectified this omission: that version is now available for download. Of course, that doesn't have the same pagination as the published article, which has also been copyedited; so the absolute, definitive version is the one available from War in History itself.
Is self-archiving worth the trouble? I think so. Since August last year (when I installed a proper download counter) 'World police for world peace' has been downloaded by 26 different people, from Thailand to the UK. While that's not an earth-shattering number, these are presumably people who are interested enough to download and (hopefully) read my research on the international air force concept, but don't have access to or can't afford the journal's version. That is to say, they probably wouldn't have read my article in any form, if it hadn't been available for free. I don't know how many people have ever read the official version, but 26 sounds like a reasonably substantial fraction. So self-archiving is helping to get my research out there.
As it happens, my second article, 'The air panic of 1935: British press opinion between disarmament and rearmament', was also published by SAGE (in the Journal of Contemporary History) which means the same policy applies. I didn't put up the submitted version because it was radically different from the accepted version. But when the first anniversary of its publication comes around in April, I'll be self-archiving that one too.