I’ve been thinking about this one for a few days and have had similar queries here: why don’t you get the published versions and let me know if you can’t?
Ideally, we’d automate copying between various places a paper is available from. We can’t do that yet because of copyright restrictions and because there isn’t a simple way of doing the copying.
I’m all in favour of automating copying tasks. Saves time and transcription errors. There are projects in progress to broker access between repositories and publishers like RJ Broker. Someone could publish and the broker could offer us a suitable copy ready for ingest into our repository Leicester Research Archive. I don’t know of brokerage projects that are widely deployed (and we’re not all writing custom code to interface with all the other repositories). Sites such as arXiv are careful to provide automated access channels rather than have robots downloading in bulk. There are efforts to include machine readable rights information in metadata. The mechanism isn’t all there yet.
I have been checking our internal research management system against our repository to find out what we have published that we haven’t deposited locally. This is surprisingly difficult to track: how do we find all published research from University of Leicester?
SHERPA RoMEO lets us check copyright permissions for many journals and I have been harvesting some papers where we have permission to do so. We could email authors: Congratulations on being published in [journal], please could we have your final author version of your research for our repository? and provide an easy link or email address. However, would this be a helpful reminder or annoying nagging?
To understand my research you have to be working somewhere that would get all the paid journals I publish in, so this is pointless.
Academic research can indeed be very specialised. However, there are many upcoming researchers all over the world, including in places that cannot or will not pay for so many journals as we do. Even if there is no pay barrier to reading a journal copy, adding a paper to your institutional repository increases readership of the copy of record; most likely because we offer more or better metadata and increase the chances of your paper being found prominently in a search. You may find ignoring mandates from your funder or employer pointless: that’s your business. We can help with compliance, we don’t have a policing function. Also, research or parts of it can be reused in ways you have never thought of, perhaps cross-discipline or in decades time or maybe some people will want to hire you for your expertise even if they don’t fully understand your work themselves. Depositing is quick, easy and free. Depositing might not get you more readers, but why lose the opportunity in case it does?