The increasing number of digital channels of communication has meant that the process of publishing research material has been undergoing major changes over the last few years. One of the key areas affected is copyright. The partners of the Knowledge Exchange believe that publicly funded research should be made freely and openly available as quickly as possible, to all who want access to it. It is in that spirit that the Licence to Publish has been created
The main features of the Licence to Publish
The main features of the Licence to Publish are:
- Copyright in the published work remains with the author
- The author grants the publisher a licence to publish the work
- The licence takes effect as soon as the publisher has indicated that it wishes to publish the work
- Once the article has been published, the author can make it publicly accessible in the form in which it was published by publisher by making it available as part of a digital scientific collection, a 'repository'.
- If the publisher so requests, the start of public accessibility can be delayed for a maximum of six months.
By signing the Licence to Publish and sending it to his/her publisher, the author grants the publisher a sole licence for certain copyright related acts which have an economic or commercial objective with respect to the article.
Authors retain rights for scholarly purposes
At the same time, the author retains certain rights for various, scholarly purposes. The licence makes no difference between pre-prints, post-prints, or published articles, but stipulates that the published version of the author's article can be disseminated via an institutional or centralised repository immediately after publication in a journal or after an embargo period of maximum six (6) months.
More than one author
The Licence to Publish is particularly useful where articles are published in the traditional way, with publications being made available only to subscribers. The agreement can also be used for publications involving more than one author.
Endorsed by Knowledge Exchange
The Licence to Publish has been endorsed by all four Knowledge Exchange partner organisations. The Licence to Publish is now available in several languages and updated versions are appearing on a regular basis.
SURF and Jisc have collaborated in setting up the Copyright Toolbox. This toolbox is developed to assist authors and publishers to achieve a balance between granting maximum access to a journal article and financial compensation for the publication by the publisher of this article.
All the various versions of the Licence to Publish can be downloaded from the Copyright Toolbox.