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Open access and copyright
Copyright in the context of open access is different to general copyright in that terms and conditions and vary dramatically from publisher to publisher, and even from journal to journal from the same publisher. This section will provide information about open access copyright. For general copyright guidance, have a look at our Help Guide on Copyright.
One of the most common questions when considering uploading research to UBIR is "Which version can I use"?
In terms of journal articles, most publishers allow the depositing of what is commonly known as the post-print or author accepted manuscript. In other words, the final, unformatted version of your research. It is unusual for publisher to allow the depositing of the publisher version.
For other types of output, publishers may have difference terms and conditions, and in the case of any doubt, you are advised to contact the UBIR Team.
Checking copyright and ensuring compliancy
There are a number of ways in which you can ensure that your open access deposits comply with copyright terms and conditions:
- Get into the habit of checking the SHERPA RoMEO database for terms and conditions of the journals in question.
- Retain your author accepted manuscript (i.e. the unformatted, Word version of your accepted article). Many publishers, from large to small, allow these to deposited in repositories such as UBIR.
- When publishing, you may be asked to sign a Copyright Transfer Agreement (CTA). The CTA passes copyright of your intellectual output from you to your publisher and may restrict how you later reuse or share your research, including making it open access. Therefore, you may wish to consider offering the publisher a publication agreement whereby you can retain the copyright of your work.
- True open access does allow for you to retain your copyright, and many open access articles are published under a Creative Commons licence. The most commonly used is a CC-BY licence, which allows research to be shared and reused as long as it is appropriately attributed.
- Other Creative Commons licences can also be used; consider which one might be most appropriate.
Open access and copyright: useful links