Where to share Wiley's "content sharing link"? Wiley is searching for an answer, too.

A new form of open access, emerged: "Bronze open access". And Wiley informed me that I can ask for a "content sharing link". And I did. But my question of how I'm allowed to share it, lead me into uncharted territory.

I'm now 408 days out-of-science-business, but the pile of unfinished work is not yet gone. So we recently published our paper dealing with a (one) Winteraceae pollen tetrad found in the Paleocene of Greenland (Grímsson et al. 2018). This was interesting enough to intrigue the editor(s) of Journal of Palaeogeography, a well-situated journal for biogeography issue by Wiley [homepage/wikipedia/stock performance]. The Winteraceae are a small but old group of angiosperms (flowering plants) with some primitive features that today only occur in the Southern Hemisphere, except for the American genus, which has outposts in California.

And we did some pretty new analyses, even though we did not had the resources to generate a lot of new data (my hope is, it will inspire others to do the same, for any other plant group): we did probabilistic mapping of quantitative (continuous) and qualitative (categorical) traits to understand the morphology of our 60 million years (Ma) old fossil pollen in comparison to its modern counterparts; and we established what we termed "semi-quantitative Köppen profiles" (a derivative of the "Köppen signatures" we used in Denk et al. 2013) for each of the modern genera/genus complexes. Our R-scripts and the data are freely accessible: online PDF supplements/ ZIP archive (8.3MB)/ rpubs (Potts & Grimm 2017), but the paper is pay-walled.

A graphical summary of our Winteraceae paper (Grímsson et al. 2018)

What is "Bronze open access"?

I just learned about it a week or two before I got Wiley's offer. It's a version of open access that is not really open. Everyone can read the paper, but to print it out or download it, you have to pay (or be the beneficiary of a subscription). A clever vehicle for high-profit publishers to tackle the increasing pressure for open science and open data by funding agencies, research institutions, and – still too few – scientists, without spoiling too much their unique, public-money-dependent business model.

The term "Bronze" open access has been coined in a recent paper by Piwowar et al. (2018) in the (truly) open access journal PeerJ. It's somehow looking like "Gold Open Access" (i.e. everyone has access), only that it's not. Personally, I would have called it "Pyrite Open Access". After all, bronze is part-copper (~ 60%), which is not as valuable as gold, but still what we Germans call an Edelmetall (LEO translates this to "noble" or "precious" metal). Pyrite, Fool's Gold, looks like gold, but is pretty worthless (we Germans call it Katzengold, cats' gold).
Piwowar et al.'s (2018) classification of Open Access and Closed categories
  • Gold: Published in an open-access journal that is indexed by the DOAJ.  
  • Green: Toll-access on the publisher page, but there is a free copy in an OA repository. 
  • Hybrid: Free under an open license in a toll-access journal.  
  • Bronze: Free to read on the publisher page, but without an clearly identifiable license.  
  • Closed: All other articles, including those shared only on an ASN or in Sci-Hub.

I got the link, but no guidelines where and how to share it

I took up Wiley's nice offer, got the "content sharing link" (just an hour after filing the request), which brings one to the read-only version of our paper provided by ReadCube. Here's the mail:
Thank you for your interest in sharing your published Wiley article. The content sharing link for your article is
Please feel free to forward this link to your co-authors.
Please be aware that Wiley’s Terms & Conditions of use are still applicable for this feature. To learn more about this new sharing feature, visit the content sharing page on Wiley Online Library. If you do have any further questions, feel free to contact the Wiley team.
Thank you,
It's obviously a new service, because Wiley's Terms & Conditions just deal with the PDF, and don't mention anything about the content sharing link. The "learn more" is interesting regarding access statistics for librarians, but also provides no information on sharing the link.

Being a law-abiding citizen, I wrote (26/2 10:50 CET) to Wiley's Author Support ( if the link qualifies as "Bronze open access" (and included the reference). Explicitly, I asked whether I can post the link on social platforms such as Twitter or on my homepage to advertise (disseminate) our work?

I got a relatively prompt (bit less than 21h, the classic promise is 24h) answer (27/2 7:16), and was positively surprised (RELX' Elsevier, a compagnon of Wiley in the Coalition of Responsible Sharing, the recently founded NRA of scientific publishing, usually takes a week to handle author requests).

The positive surprise hold for a second, because I read:
Thank you for your recent communication regarding your article.
Please see below our Terms & Condition
The following Terms and Conditions relate to the use of this e-Offprint file.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you require any further assistance.
Kind regards,
Mary Grace Alcala
Wiley Author Support
"E-Offprint file"? That was not my question, I asked explicitly about sharing the content sharing link I got, not the PDF.
So, I wrote back (same day, 10:21) pointing out it's apparently a new service Wiley's Author Support may still be unfamiliar with, and to be so kind to read my questions, and, maybe, provide an answer to them.

Again, prompt reply (28/2 5:14, down to 19h; really good handling service – honestly)
Thank you for your follow up email.
Please give us some time while we are checking into this. We will provide an update once we received a response from our Senior colleagues.
What? Did I accidently enter a White House press-conference with Sarah Huckabee Sanders explaining Trumpelchen's, the sitting U.S. prime toddler, last salve of contradictory tweets? First answer not related to the question; second answer, need to ask my superiors (haven't yet spoken to Mr President).

Check-up went fast (1/3 3:27, 22h) — another sign of efficiency.
Thank you for your patience while we were checking into this.
We suggest that you contact to further assist you on content sharing link.
Double the what! The "Senior colleagues" at Wiley's Author (Alleged) Support have no idea how to share the content sharing link, Wiley provided me with? The company that we transferred the copyright to tells me to ask the company that provides the reading service, whether I would violate the copyright agreement when sharing the read-only link.
[Info for non-scientists: we – the authors who did all the work – don't get a penny for it; no need we are usually anyway paid by you for doing it. All money made with the copyrighted material goes 100% into the pockets of the publishers.]
Or it's again stupid me, who is sadly misinformed. When providing free access to copyrighted content, you don't ask the current copyright holder, but the webservice, TV station, etc. showing it!

Level 2

But just for fun, let's point the odd thing with the copyright out to Wiley's Author So-Called Support (1/3 7:48)
Dear Mary Grace Alcala,
readcube just provides the service. My question is copyright/readright-related.
According to T&C, we (the authors) transferred the copyright to Wiley, hence, Wiley should be able to inform me (as author) whether I can share the link or not.
Maybe you can provide me with a relevant contact, e.g. Wiley's copyright law division.
Cheers, Guido
And there's the usual prompt answer (the speediest so far, admire the consistent acceleration; same day, 22:16), with totally surprising content and a little twist.
Thank you for your recent communication regarding the Wiley Content Sharing Link.
We do apologize for any inconvenience caused. Please be advised that I have forwarded your query to our senior team for further assistance. As soon as I receive a response, I will provide you with an update.
Please do not hesitate to contact us again if you require any further assistance.
Kind regards,
Janina Vaughan
Wiley Author Support
I'm up one level with my strange, unforseenable inquiry, it seems — now it's not Mary Grace Alcala (a name of Spanish origin, makes you wonder how many lowest-paid Mexicans work for U.S. Wiley rather than following Trumpelchen's America's First credo "JOBS, JOBS, JOBS. #MAGA") anymore but Janina Vaughan (good Anglosaxon name, tremendous sign of #MAGA), who passed it on to another cryptic "senior team" of quick and well-staffed (two handlers already, two senior teams) Wiley's Author Not-really-a-Service-but-We-Live-to-Learn.

I can't bear the hopeful tension anymore, and had to write this post. Which will (hopefully) have an update (or two or more) and finally a conclusion.

It's the path, not the destination, that leads us to higher wisdom. Such as: where can I share my "content sharing link"? 

In the meanwhile, lacking any info on whether I can or not, I was so free to tweet the link, and added it to my literature list. So take a read, before it's too late. It's quite an unusual pollen paper.

Update 5/3

No, no news from Wiley, they seem still to query themselves on the topic. But I was pointed to a similar case via Twitter:
So how can we "Share It" excactly? Graham Steel explored Springer Nature's "ShareIt" service; not a short story (start December 2014, end November 2016) with quite a few links. 

Update 8/3 – Case closed: We can! Share.

(Click to enlarge)
It took a couple of days, but at 16:03 (CET), I finally got – quite elaborate, worth waiting one may say – answers to my questions (they may have little idea about their products, but Wiley's Author Service knows how to service; so much different from fellow CfRS-member Elsevier's or non-CfRS-member, yet, Springer Nature). And attached to the mail, an actually well-made self-explanatory PDF explaining where you can share what (no link, but I suppose you can find it somewhere on Wiley's page). Don't ask me, why it took them so long to dig it out, maybe the just made it?!

Case closed. The "content sharing link" can be shared ubiquitously whithout any restriction. So don't forget to ask for it the next time you publish with Wiley, and share it like hell, so people can find it. It's just Pyrite (Bronze) Open Access, but free-to-read is (a bit) better than no access at all. After all, we – the public – pays a lot for it (in so many ways).

Denk T, Grimm GW, Grímsson F, Zetter R. 2013. Evidence from "Köppen signatures" of fossil plant assemblages for effective heat transport of Gulf Stream to subarctic North Atlantic during Miocene cooling. Biogeosciences 10:7927–7942.
Grímsson F, Grimm GW, Potts AJ, Zetter R, Renner SS. 2018. A Winteraceae pollen tetrad from the early Paleocene of western Greenland, and the fossil record of Winteraceae in Laurasia and Gondwana. Journal of Biogeography 45:567–581. [read-only]
Piwowar H, Priem J, Larivière V, Alperin JP, Matthias L, Norlander B, Farley A, West J, Haustein S. 2018. The state of OA: a large-scale analysis of the prevalence and impact of Open Access articles. PeerJ 6:e4375.
Potts AJ, Grimm GW. 2017. Ancestral state reconstruction of seven continuous and 20 categorical pollen traits scored for extant Winteraceae. Supplement to Grímsson et al. "A Winteraceae pollen tetrad from the early Paleocene of western Greenland, and the fossil record of Winteraceae in Laurasia and Gondwana". 

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