When submitting an article for publication an author may encounter a variety of agreements or licences. These licences define the rights that the author retains in their article and any subsequent use of that article. Listed below are the most commonly encountered licences. If you have any queries concerning licences, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Publishing and copyright
Whether retaining copyright or not, it is important to read publishing agreements carefully to check that they allow the final author manuscript (accepted version) to be self-archived in the Institutional Repository. Please keep a copy of all agreements signed with publishers/conference organisers as it may be useful to consult these for items you submit.
Publisher PDFs: the majority of publishers do not allow their formatted PDFs to be made available online in repositories. Please do not submit this version unless you are sure it can be made available. A list of publishers who may permit their PDFs to be posted in repositories is available here. If you have published a paper using the Gold Route, please still upload the accepted for publication version of your manuscript as we can replace this with the appropriate published version ourselves.
Publisher policies: we can check the copyright restrictions for each paper you deposit by using the SHERPA/RoMEO database and by checking publisher copyright policies. If the information is not available online for your research output, then we can contact the publishers for permission on your behalf.
Third party copyright material: please also remember that you may need to obtain permission from the appropriate copyright holders for any third party copyright material that has been included in your submitted work. For further information please see: Third party copyright material and the Research Repository.
A standard copyright transfer agreement and the alternatives are described below:
a) Standard copyright transfer licence
Terms will vary but this will generally assign copyright to the publisher. The majority of publisher agreements will now permit authors to deposit a version of their papers in repositories, although they may include an embargo period.
Licence to publish: Although journal publishers often invite authors to sign a standard copyright assignment form, when asked if they have a “licence to publish” form, they may provide one. A licence to publish form should permit authors to retain copyright over the content of their work.
Adding an addendum: Other publishers may not have a “licence to publish” form; in such cases authors may add an addendum to the publisher’s assignment form in order to retain copyright over their work. Sources of text for the addendum are the Loughborough University suggested author agreement and the SPARC addendum.
Open Access Publishing Agreements: These agreements usually permit the author to retain copyright and stipulate the distribution of the paper under a Creative Commons licence. There are several types of Creative Commons licence, but for RCUK papers funded as Open Access it is compulsory to distribute the paper under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence specifically.
Creative Commons Licenses
Creative Commons licences assist creators to retain copyright and rights to attribution while allowing others to copy, distribute, and make some other uses of their work. Below are two instances in which you may encounter these.
a) Gold Open Access to fulfil RCUK requirements
RCUK currently require the use of the Creative Commons CC BY license. This allows the paper to be re-used or adapted, including for commercial purposes, as long as the author is credited.
b) Research Repository Creative Commons default licence
The material held in the Research Repository is governed by the Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND licence as a default (wherever this does not clearly conflict with the publisher's/copyright owners' terms and conditions). This allows the paper to be downloaded and shared as long as the author is credited. The material is not to be used commercially or altered in any way. Any item submitted to the Repository which is already covered by a different Creative Commons licence will be governed by the original CC licence.
Research Repository licence
The Research Repository licence gives us permission to make your work available in the repository. There is a requirement to agree to the terms and conditions of this licence every time a new deposit is submitted to the Research Repository via LUPIN. Therefore, please check the terms and conditions of this licence carefully.