Copyright guidance for the repository

Copyright is an important consideration when self-archiving your work. Copyright is the right to reproduce, disseminate, and adapt an original creative work. If you create a scholarly work, then you will own the copyright in it. However, when you sign a publishing agreement, you may sign away some or all of these rights. You will need to read the terms of your agreement carefully. If you are not happy with it, then contact your publisher; you do not need to sign the first agreement you are sent. Ideally, you will consider copyright in advance of choosing where to publish your work.

HEFCE’s policy for open access in the post-2014 Research Excellence Framework covers journal articles and conference proceedings with an ISSN – see our Advice and guidance for further information. Simply put, you will need to deposit your final peer-reviewed manuscript or your published paper within three months of acceptance for publication. If an embargo period is required by your publisher then this can be applied in RaY.

Journal articles

Many publishers will support your right to make your work available online. However, their individual policies will vary, and it is important that you check which version of your work you can deposit into RaY. The following sources of information will help:

•Your copyright agreement or your publishing contract

•The SHERPA/RoMEO database contains generic information on the permissions given by publishers

•The publisher’s website may contain information about copyright and self-archiving

•If you are still unsure, contact RaY

Conference papers

Conference proceedings that are published with an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) are covered by HEFCE’s open access policy. You will need to check who owns the copyright – if it is the publisher of the proceedings then you will need to contact them for permission.

Book chapters

HEFCE’s policy does not apply to book chapters. To check if you can deposit, check your publishing agreement or contact your publisher. A standard permissions template can be used.