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Open Access Toolkit

Managing Copyright

 Publisher/Author agreements

When you submit your work to a publisher, you will be asked to sign a publication agreement. Read it carefully. If it asks you to transfer your copyright to the publisher, make sure you understand the specific transfer terms and what rights you will still have available to you. If the transfer is not qualified in any way, it will mean that only the publisher will be able to reproduce, publish, communicate, perform or adapt the work. In other words, you will have to ask the publisher’s permission to do any of these things.

Copyright and the UC Research Portal

Many traditional publishing models require authors to sign over copyright of their research articles and publishers vary greatly in what they allow an institutional repository to provide access to.

Researchers can archive their publications in the UC Research Portal, where they may be made available open access based on the copyright and access rights policies associated with them.

Some publishers will let an author add to the Portal:

  • the author’s accepted manuscript
  • the published version
  • one of the above versions after an embargo period
  • nothing at all
  • unknown? – their policy is not available online

It is a good idea to keep a copy of your peer-reviewed accepted manuscripts (the version accepted for publication, prior to final publishers formatting) as this is the version most often permitted to be displayed in Institutional Repositories.

For assistance contact:

Creative Commons Copyright Licences (PDF)

Copyright Transfer Forms & Open Access

Publisher Archiving Policies:

Publishers usually ask authors to assign copyright to them, but many also allow self-archiving of the author's final accepted manuscript.

Be sure to check the journal's policy on self-archiving before submitting your work for publication.

Points to remember:

  • Mostly applies to journal articles
  • Often you will sign over copyright when the article is accepted for publication
  • The 'Archiving 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 often apply
  • Library staff check for and comply 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: