Copyright Guidelines FAQs
How do I know what copyright policies apply to my publication?
You can find information in the publishing agreement you signed, which may be called an Exclusive Licence or Copyright Transfer Agreement. There will usually be information on the publisher's website (on a "for authors" page) or try the SHERPA / RoMEO database which lists most standard policies and how they affect full-text deposit into repositories. Most publishers will allow you to deposit your author accepted version, which is the postprint; after peer review but before the publisher’s formatting is applied.
Library staff will check the SHERPA / RoMEO database to see what the publishers' standard copyright policies are; any restrictions such as embargo periods or conditions such as linking to publisher websites will be met before making articles publicly available in the repository, OpenUCT.
Do I own copyright in my articles?
At UCT, “UCT automatically assigns to the author(s) the copyright, unless UCT has assigned ownership to a third party in terms of a research contract, in Scholarly and literary publications” (UCT IP Policy, 8.2). If the publisher requires that you sign away your copyright, as an author, you have the right to modify your copyright agreement. For more information on author's rights and retaining copyright please see the Copyright Toolbox for authors and the Versions Toolkit to help you consider copyright for all potential research outputs. The SPARC Author Rights Initiative is also a useful source of information.
What about third party copyright?
If the copyright on any of the material you deposit, e.g. illustrations, is owned by others, then you are responsible for ensuring you have the permission of the copyright holder, or that the inclusion of this third party copyright material can be considered ‘fair use’.
What is the relationship between Open Access and copyright?
Open Access adheres to existing copyright law. The copyright owners of the intellectual property (e.g. research paper, data sets, educational resources, video casts, etc.) own the rights to reproduce or publish the work. In the Open Access model, authors permit free access to their work for scholarly use, with proper attribution. To fit within the definition of Open Access, permissions should include the right to copy and distribute the work. Authors may grant more permission by appending a Creative Commons license or other Open Access license to their work. Additional permissions could include commercial use and the right to produce derivative works. Authors retain the right to control distribution of their work.