The United Kingdom’s SHERPA (Securing a Hybrid Environment for Research Preservation and Access) is based at the Centre for Research Communications, University of Nottingham and works on projects related to open Access and repository development.
Think of SHERPA as a British equivalent of ARL’s (Association of Research Libraries) SPARC (Scholarly Publishing & Academic Resources Coalition). Frankly, the distinction I see is that SPARC ‘s public focus is on the politics of building momentum to change research publishing culture as it affects research libraries, a mission it performs very well. SHERPA certainly relates to the politics of libraries, academic research, and publishing in the UK, and it is leveraged by the fact that the UK embraced national health healthcare in 1948 . Taxpayer access to scientific research has been an easier concept to gain traction with the public in Britain, compared to the lobbying juggernaut that has barely slowed the hard times in the scholarly communication marketplace .
RoMEO is a tool that all of us can use, a publicly searchable database of publisher policies on the self- archiving of journal articles on the web and in open access repositories. As of February 2010, RoMEO now covers over 700 publishers from around the globe. Of these publishers, 63% formally allow some form of self-archiving. (The rest of the RoMEO FAQ is here.)
Here is a picture of the search box (click to go to the page):
Here is the result for the Journal of NeuroTrauma search:
RoMEO covers peer-reviewed journals and serials, based on information harvested from Zetoc, Entrez and DOAJ. Publishers are also searchable. According to the RoMEO site, “RoMEO does not provide self-archiving information on books, monographs, thesis or conference papers, however, some series titles may be covered.”