What You Need to Know About Copyright

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Copyright restrictions may impact whether you can deposit a published article into a digital repository. While the majority of publishers will allow you to deposit, there are differences among publisher policies:

  • In some cases, the publisher’s final formatted version may be deposited;
  • In others, it may be the author’s final manuscript (before publisher editing);
  • Some allow deposit only after a given time limit (usually between six to 12 months).

The SHERPA project provides a searchable database of publisher policies regarding depositing in repositories. See http://www.sherpa.ac.uk/romeo.php. Library staff can also help.

When you publish, keep in mind that you can retain key rights to ensure the broadest possible exposure and use of your work. If you simply sign the “standard” publishing agreement for your publisher, you may lose the right to use or distribute your work the way you wish.

Retain your rights with the Canadian SPARC Author Addendum

The author addendum is a legal tool you can use to modify the publisher’s agreement and keep key rights to the journal articles you publish — enabling you to use them in your teaching, give copies to colleagues, reuse parts of your articles in future, and to post on your personal Web page or deposit in a digital repository.

Simply fill in the addendum and attach it to the publishing agreement (also called a copyright transfer agreement) when you sign. View/download the SPARC Canadian Author Addendum (English |Français). For more details, visit www.carl-abrc.ca.