Please consider your right to self-archive. The database SHERPA/RoMEO provides a good overview over what publishers permit. Please note that the information in this database is not legally binding – your publishing agreement are always essential. In addition, in certain cases you also have legal rights that are valid independently of the publishing agreement (more Information). We will be happy to advise you on which rights you have in individual cases!
If possible, do not transfer exclusive rights to the publisher. You can enclose the SPARC Author Addendum to your contract to reserve the non-exclusive right to self-archive your article in a repository. In order to be legally valid this supplement has to be countersigned by the publisher.
Repositories like DepositOnce ensures permanent availability and guarantees better visibility of the content. Neither is guaranteed when uploading full texts to personal and institutional websites or academic networks.
The use of academic networks (e.g. ResearchGate and Academia.edu) is certainly advisable for networking, but not sufficient from an Open Access perspective. These platforms are commercially operating companies whose development and sustainability are not predictable. In addition, self-archiving on commercial platforms is often not permitted (more information).
You should self-archive as soon as possible on a repository (e.g. DepositOnce - the institutional repository of TU Berlin). Depending on the publishing agreement your publication will either be available immediately or after an embargo period. Sometimes the publisher´s version is permitted to be used in the repository, other publishers only allow the use of the accepted manuscript (“postprint” or “final draft”).
Do not use your personal or institutional website to self-archive. DepositOnce ensures permanent availability (by DOIs) and guarantees the visibility of the publications in scholarly search engines (such as BASE), library catalogues and many other search platforms.
For networking reasons it is advisable to integrate your publications in academic platforms like ResearchGate and Academia.edu. However, uploading publications to these networks is not sufficient concerning the principles of Open Access. These platforms are commercially operating companies, whose development and sustainability are not predictable. Furthermore, in most cases self-archiving on commercial platforms is not permitted by publishers (more information).