Skip to main content

Research Support

Copyright

Copyright might not be the first thing on your mind when you want to publish something. However, taking time to think about your copyright when you publish can save you a lot of trouble down the line.

Some publishers require you to sign a copyright agreement when your manuscript is accepted, which means you'll sign over the ownership of the publication to the journal. This means that you will not be allowed to re-use the content from the publication to write a book chapter, for example, or to use for teaching purposes.

In some cases the journal will allow you to keep your copyright if you ask to amend the copyright agreement.

If you publish Open Access, the copyright will remain with you. However, there are several licences you can publish under. Most publishers have a default licence that they publish under, and many funders also have a preferred licence (usually CC BY). To get an overview of the licenses in Open Access publishing, see below.

Open Access Copyright Licences

CC0 (No Right Reserved)

CC0 enables creators and owners of copyright to place their work as completely as possible in the public domain. This means that others may freely build upon, enhance and reuse the works for any purposes without restriction under copyright law.

Icon for CC 0 licence

CC BY (Attribution)

This licence lets other distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation. This is the most accommodating of licences offered. Recommended for maximum dissemination and use of licenced materials.

Symbol result for CC BY licence

CC BY-SA (Attribution-ShareAlike)

This licence lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work even for commercial purposes, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms. All new works based on yours will carry the same licence, so any derivatives will also allow commercial use.

Symbol for CC BY-SA licence

CC BY-ND (Attribution-NoDerivs)

This licence lets others reuse the work for any purpose, including commercially; however, it cannot be shared with others in adapted form,and credit must be provided to you.

Symbol for CC BY-ND licence

CC BY-NC (Attribution-NonCommercial)

This licence lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, and although their new works must also acknowledge you and be non-commercial, they don't have to license their derivative works on the same terms.

Symbol for CC BY-NC licence

CC BY-NC-SA (Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike)

This licence lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms.

Symbol for CC BY-NC-SA licence

CC BY-NC-ND (Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs)

This licence is the most restrictive of the six main CC licences. It only allows others to download your works and share them with others as long as they credit you, but they can’t change them in any way or use them commercially.

Symbol for CC BY-NC-ND licence

Information from: www.creativecommons.org/licenses and www.creativecommons.org/share-your-work/public-domain/cc0

If you would like to download a printable information sheet containing all of the above information on copyright licences, please select the PDF link below.

We have created a game, Copyright Dough, which we are happy to run to help you to learn about copyright licences and exceptions in a light-hearted environment. Head to our gamified research support page to learn more about this.