Publishing your research

What is a copyright agreement or licence?

An agreement or licence is a permission or authorisation from the copyright owner to use their material in ways which fall within the copyright owner's exclusive rights. An agreement can be

  • Exclusive (the licencee is the only person who can use the material in the ways covered by the licence) or
  • Non-exclusive (grants the right to exercise one or more of the copyright owner's rights in the material, but not to the exclusion of the copyright owner or other licencees)

Agreements may exist between

  • You and copyright owners whose work you wish to use
  • You and a publisher who wishes to publish your material (for example in a book or journal)
  • You and an online repository

Am I ready to publish my research?

Ideally you will have all permissions required by the time you have finished your research. If not, then you need to either chase these up before you can publish your work, or considering removing the material in question from your research.

What if I've already published some of my research?

You might have assigned copyright to someone else (i.e. a publisher of a journal) if you have previously published parts of your work i.e. as a journal article or in other publications. Assigning copyright in parts of your work to a publisher can limit your ability to make this work publicly available. Therefore you will need to determine who owns copyright.

Publishers quite often have policies available on their websites which state ownership and licence condition information. Copyright ownership and licence information should also be part of the agreement you make with a publisher for the publication of your research.

Download the Copyright for Researchers Toolkit A4 (Doc)

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