Find out who owns your journal article

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There is a lot to keep track of when it comes to open access publishing. To help you find your way we’re publishing five blog posts with quick tips for researchers. These will hopefully make the process of publishing your paper with open access a bit easier.

Tip #2: Find out who owns your journal article

If you publish in a traditional subscription-based journal without open access you will sign a copyright transfer agreement. This means that the publisher, not you, owns all text, figures, tables and images that are part of your paper. Depending on what the details of the agreement says, this limits how you can share and use the contents of the article you have published. Remember to check the fine print of the agreement if you know you will need to reuse the paper as a chapter in a thesis or similar!

Figure courtesy of the Office of Scholarly Communications, University of Cambridge used under CC BY 4.0.

Many publishers allow the reuse of the author’s accepted manuscript. For example, most of the time you will be allowed to publish the accepted manuscript in DiVA or similar repositories. Often the journal will have an embargo period ranging from 6 to 48 months before the article can be shared publicly.

So it’s important that you remember to save your own manuscript after the journal has accepted it! Please do upload it to DiVA, which can serve as a storage area for you so you don’t end up accidentally losing it. After you have uploaded a manuscript a librarian will check to make sure it is only published in compliance with the journal’s policies. Any embargo period will be added to the paper in DiVA by the librarian, meaning that the manuscript will be published first after the end of the embargo period.

On Monday we give you some information on how to check what you are allowed to do with your accepted manuscript.