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Which Author is Normally Responsible for Sharing Reprints of a Publication with Readers?


In the world of academic publishing, the dissemination of research findings is of utmost importance. One aspect of this process is the sharing of reprints, which are copies of published articles or papers. Reprints are crucial for researchers, scholars, and other interested readers who may not have access to the original publication. While the responsibility for sharing reprints can vary depending on the specific circumstances, certain authors are commonly tasked with this important duty. In this article, we will explore the typical roles and responsibilities of authors in sharing reprints with readers.

Primary Author

The primary author of a publication is generally considered to be the lead or corresponding author. This individual is responsible for coordinating the research, organizing the manuscript, and corresponding with the journal throughout the publication process. As such, the primary author often plays a pivotal role in sharing reprints with readers.

Upon acceptance of an article for publication, the primary author may receive a certain number of reprints, typically in the form of a PDF file or printed copies. These reprints are intended for the author’s personal use, distribution to co-authors, and dissemination to colleagues, collaborators, or interested parties. The primary author is expected to utilize these reprints strategically to ensure wider access to the published work.


Co-authors, also known as secondary authors, contribute significantly to the research and writing process, and they may share responsibilities for disseminating reprints. While the primary author often takes the lead, co-authors are entitled to receive copies of reprints as well. This enables them to promote their own contributions and share the work with their respective networks.

Co-authors can use their allocated reprints for various purposes, such as distributing them to colleagues, presenting them at conferences, including them in grant applications, or even sharing them on personal websites or social media platforms. In doing so, co-authors play a crucial role in expanding the reach of the publication and fostering greater engagement with the research community.

Research Institutions and Funding Agencies

In some cases, the responsibility for reprint dissemination may extend beyond individual authors to research institutions or funding agencies. These entities often recognize the value of the research they support and may acquire a substantial number of reprints from the publisher. They can then distribute these reprints to researchers within their organization or network, ensuring broader accessibility to the published work.

Open Access Publications

With the increasing popularity of open access publishing, the responsibility for sharing reprints may shift to the readers themselves. Open access articles are freely available to the public, eliminating the need for traditional reprint dissemination. Instead, readers can directly access the full text of the publication online, either through the publisher’s website, academic databases, or institutional repositories.


In the world of academic publishing, the responsibility for sharing reprints of a publication with readers primarily falls on the primary author, followed by co-authors. They are entrusted with the task of disseminating reprints to colleagues, collaborators, and interested parties to ensure wider access to the published work. Additionally, research institutions and funding agencies may also play a role in reprint distribution, particularly when they are directly involved in supporting the research. The rise of open access publishing has further revolutionized the availability of research articles, allowing readers to access publications directly online.

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