Publishing in an Open Access Journal is one way of providing people with freely available access to your research. Another way you can make your content openly available is via Institutional or Subject Repositories. These repositories house, preserve, make accessible and license content held within them. They are also known for providing usage data and access to files.
Before putting a published work into a repository, first ensure that you can do so legally by (a) consulting SHERPA RoMEO to Learn about specific publisher policies related to self-archiving or (b) guaranteeing your right to self-archive by using an Author Addendums when signing a publishing contract (These addendums are used to modify publishing contracts and serves as a Rights Retention Strategy.)
After checking on your right to self-archive, next choose a relevant repository. Brandon University has an Institutional Repository known as IRBU that accepts content.
Why Share your Research via a Subject Repository?
There are also many, many subject repositories. These repositories provide researchers with three major advantages.
Repository for Physics, Mathematics, Computer Science, Quantitative Biology.
This repository is so well known in physics that Sheldon (Big Bang Theory) mentions uploading research papers to it.
Repository for biology, life sciences.
High Energy Physics
Repository for Cognitive Science, Psychology, Neuroscience, Computer Science, Neurology, Biology
Biology, Life, Medical and Computer Science
Repository for Philosophy Papers
Repository for Research into the Philosophy of Science
Major Medical Repository hosted by the National Institute of Health's National Library of Medicine
Major Economics repository with links to papers, and other information Economists wish to share.
If you wish to share your research via a subject repository but are unsure which one(s) to use, try consulting:
Lists repositories and has information about each including statistical deposit activity.
Lists repositories by discipline. Includes links to some International ones where English may not be the first language.
The answer to this question is no. Academic Social Networks like ResearchGate, Acadenia.edu, Mendeley and LinkedIn allow you to follow the work and posts of other researchers and create a profile for your work. Their purpose is to market the work of researchers.
Funding Agencies, Institutional OA policies and other mandates generally want to see the research (1) made openly available, and (2) preserved for the long term. These types of services are offered by Institutional Repositories and by Subject Repositories designed for these purposes. Funders like the Tri-Agency recommend IRs or specific Subject Repositories. (Note: You can learn more about the differences between Academic Social Networks and Repositories here.)
So long as your publishing contract allows you to share your work, you can place the article in a repository and a social network. But before you share your content via an Academic Social Networks, be aware of the following issues: