Notice and take down policy
Every effort has been made to ensure that no deposited content infringes any third party property rights or otherwise infringes applicable laws. Strathprints operates a notice and take down policy should you discover any content that you consider to infringe your rights.
Open Access and copyright guidance
Please note: the information below can only provide guidelines and should not be relied on for legal advice. For further information please contact the Institutional Repository Co-ordinator or, for detailed legal guidance concerning copyright more generally, please direct your query to the Information Governance and Compliance Team.
Who owns the copyright of my article?
Articles that have already been published: in most cases you will have signed an agreement transferring copyright to the publisher.
Articles not yet submitted to a journal: currently you as the author retain copyright (the University does not assert copyright in respect of research related materials).
What rights might I be signing away to publishers?
This will vary depending on the agreement, but as a guide traditional copyright agreements may not permit authors to:
- Reuse an article as a chapter in a book
- Revise or adapt an article
- Distribute an article to colleagues
- Reproduce copies of an article for teaching purposes
- Self archive/make available an article in an institutional or digital repository
Am I required to sign copyright agreements as they stand? Can I make changes to an agreement or offer an alternative agreement?
Most publishers will be willing to discuss copyright agreements with authors or may be willing to accept a license that you have amended. They may also be willing to accept an alternative agreement. Queries about how to go about publishing under a different licence, or using a copyright transfer addendum, please contact email@example.com
A number of publishers offer "License to publish" agreements as an alternative to "Copyright Transfer" agreements, and often these are more liberal and may permit authors to deposit their papers in institutional repositories.
A more significant development has been the growth of Gold Open Access, whereby an article will be made freely available at point of use on payment of an article processing charge (APC). Articles go through exactly the same peer review process. More information about Gold Open Access and how to apply for an APC via the RCUK or COAF funds, is available from Open Access @ Strathclyde.
Is a "license to publish" any different from a traditional copyright agreement?
In many respects such agreements are no different. However, they may give authors a number of rights which were not permitted under previous copyright transfer agreements.
How can I find out which publishers have "open" copyright agreements?
Many publishers make their copyright agreements available on their web sites. Most agreements make it clear what rights authors are permitted to retain. If this is not the case it is best to contact the publisher directly. You can also consult the list of publishers' copyright policies and policies on self-archiving maintained by the SHERPA. Note that this list is not comprehensive, and it may not include information on the publisher you are interested in. However, it provides a useful way of seeing at a glance which publishers have open copyright agreements.
Authors also have the option of publishing their work in Open Access journals. Such journals are freely available without subscription. They operate the same peer review method as traditional subscription journals. Many Open Access journals operate a cost recovery method by charging an article processing charge (APC). This is sometimes referred to as the 'author pays' model; however, it is expected that such a fee will be factored into grant applications or levied against Gold publishing grants provided to institutions by research funders.
The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) "indexes and provides access to high quality, open access, peer-reviewed journals". It is therefore a useful and reliable list of reputable Open Access journals.
Pre-prints/self-archiving: will publishers still be willing to publish my article if I have made a pre-print available in a subject or institutional repository?
This varies depending on the publisher. Many publishers make it a condition of publication that they will not consider any articles which have already been made publicly available. Some publishers specify that making a work available in a repository constitutes "prior publication". If in doubt check with the publisher directly or contact the Open Access Team, which can investigate on your behalf.
If a publisher has changed its policy since my article was published does the new policy apply retrospectively?
Some publishers have changed their policies and extended the new rights to all authors regardless of when their papers were published. If it is unclear if new rights are to be applied retrospectively it may be necessary to contact the publisher to check if this is the case. If in doubt check contact the Open Access Team, which can investigate on your behalf.
If you are keen to avoid assigning your rights away as an author you may wish to consider the following options suggested by the RoMEO:
- Choose journals with a non-exclusive license (i.e. those which do not require you to transfer copyright to the publisher
- Choose journals with self-archiving friendly licenses (i.e. those which permit the deposit of your article in a repository)
- Negotiate with your publisher
- Amend the existing license
- Use an alternative license