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Open Access Toolkit

The myth about defending your copyright...


"It is exceptionally rare for a scientific publisher to use copyright law to defend the integrity of a scientific paper on behalf of an author. In fact BioMed Central knows of no situation where this has happened...

Meanwhile, the real reason for copyright transfer is clear. Publishers regularly use copyright law to protect  the profits they derive by controlling access to the literature."

BioMed Central

Copyright & UC Research Repository

How we manage copyright in the UC Research Repository:

  • If the item is available freely online we link to the full text
  • If the item has a creative commons licence we will automatically add the file to the repository and make it available in full text
  • If the author owns copyright we ask their permission to display the paper, and check for any restrictions the publisher may have applied
  • If the publisher holds copyright we look for a Publisher Archiving Policy
  • If none is found we contact the publisher and request permission to display a version of the work
  • If a policy is found we email the author, inform them of the publisher’s policy and request the permitted version of the work to display


These practices comply with Australian copyright law and publisher's archiving policies. Depositing your work in the UC Research Repository does not alter the copyright status of the work and will not affect your future publication prospects.

Creative Commons Copyright Licences (PDF)

Creative Commons licences explained (video)

Author Rights (video)

Copyright Transfer Forms & Open Access

Publisher Archiving Policies:

Publishers usually ask authors to assign copyright to them.

Many now also allow self-archiving of the final accepted manuscript version.

Be sure to check the publisher's policy on self-archiving.

Points to remember:

  • Mostly applies to journal articles
  • Often you will sign over copyright when the article is accepted for publication
  • The 'Achiving Policy' is often found in the CTA (copyright transfer agreement)
  • Usually archiving Policies allow you to display the final (peer reviewed if applicable) manuscript in your institutional repository
  • Embargo periods are sometimes put in place
  • The UC Research Repository checks for and complies with these policies, embargoes and any other conditions set by the publishers (so if your not sure, ask us!)

Publisher Archiving Policies can be checked at SherpaRomeo:

Copyright Symbol

To insert a copyright symbol into your document press the ALT key and type 0169