FAQ Copyright

Copyright, author rights, licenses and access restrictions

Will depositing my work in the Atrium constitute compliance with the Tri-agency open access policy requirements?

Yes, publishing your work in the Atrium does provide compliance with the policy requirements. If your work has been previously published, however, you should refer to the information below concerning your rights as an author and copyright compliance. You should ensure that the journal you have published in will allow you to place the article in the repository within the timeframe set by the Tri-agency.

Am I responsible for ensuring that the material I add complies with copyright law?

Yes, you are responsible for ensuring that the material you submit for deposit does not infringe on the rights of publishers or any other entity or party.

How do I determine my rights or the rights others may have over my work?

There are a number of different instances where copyright comes into play....

  • If the work has not been previously published, and you have not transferred your rights to another entity, you are the copyright owner of the material and are free to deposit the item and determine end use privileges.
  • If the work has been published, you must check your author agreement or check with the publisher to see what rights you may have signed away during the publishing process and what rights you have retained. This will always be specific to each individual article.

The Sherpa/Romeo website provides a summary of publisher and journal policies. There are different levels of permissions offered. It is recommended that you also check with the publisher or journal website as well to ensure that you have the most current policy information available to you. For assistance contact us.

What if there are multiple authors on the work?

  • If the work has not been previously published and there are co-authors, you must seek permission from the other authors before submitting the work.
  • If the work has been published and the publisher allows depositing in the Atrium, it is important to notify the other authors of your intent.

What version of the article should I deposit?

There are several different versions of articles to be considered. In the case of published articles, publishers usually specify which version they will allow for re-distribution.

Pre-print: this is the author’s submitted version to a publisher prior to editing

Post-print: this is the author’s final version prior to publication. It usually includes all modifications from review process

Publisher’s version: this is the pdf version with the publisher’s logo, formatting and layout. Few publishers will agree to the depositing of this version in the repository.

If you are depositing an unpublished article, you would submit your final version.

What if I have published with an ‘open access’ journal?

Publishing in an open access journal does not automatically mean that you can redistribute your work freely or that you have retained your rights as author. You should check your publishing agreement, the publisher’s site, or the Romeo/Sherpa site to determine whether or not your publishing agreement allows you to deposit your article in an institutional repository and whether or not you have retained any other rights. Some open access publishers enforce a temporary embargo on depositing items to a repository.

What do I do if the journal I published my article in enforces a temporary embargo?

During the submission process, depositors have the option to place a temporary embargo date on the item.  This embargo should not exceed the requirements of either the journal in question or any granting agency requirement. The repository platform will automatically release the file to the public once the embargo release date has been reached.

In future, how can I retain my rights in order to distribute my work or reuse it?

It is good practice to identify your rights with your publisher prior to submission and retain a copy of the allowable version of your work for future reuse, deposit or distribution.

It is possible to submit an author addendum to the standard contract. Some publishers are willing to negotiate rights. See our Author Rights webpage for more details and addendum examples.

How do I determine what others can do with my material once it is in the Atrium?

If you are the current copyright owner of the material, you can determine what others can do with your work. We offer a variety of end user licencing options through the Creative Commons. There are six main categories to choose from:

Attribution share-alike
Attribution - no derivatives
Attribution - no derivatives, share alike
Attribution - non-commercial
Attribution - non-commercial, no derivatives

For an explantion of the license choices, refer to Creative Commons About the Licenses

Please note that if you choose not to apply a Creative Commons license to your work when submitting to the Atrium, Canadian Copyright will be in effect.

What rights will the University of Guelph receive for material I submit to the Atrium?

The University will have the non-exclusive right to distribute your work freely and to preserve it.  Copyright will not be transferred away from the current owner (yourself or publisher). See the Atrium Licence Agreement for details.

Who can access the files I submit?

Material submitted into the Atrium are, by default, accessible to the world. It is possible, in certain circumstances, to restrict access for a specified amount of time – for example when the material has been submitted for publication elsewhere, or to restrict access to a specific user group for specific teaching or personal research purposes. Contact us for details and assistance.