It is essential to establish who owns the copyright before adding items to the UWE Bristol Research Repository.
It is essential to establish who owns the copyright before adding items to the UWE Bristol Research Repository. The library research support team will always check this before making a research output openly available on the repository.
Who owns the copyright?
You own it
If you own the copyright, you will retain ownership of the material. By agreeing to the deposit agreement when depositing your research you are confirming that you are the owner of the work, and giving UWE Bristol rights to make this work available on the UWE Bristol Research Repository. You retain control over your work and can publish it or use it in teaching. Library staff will check the copyright conditions on all items you deposit before they are made live, and contact you with any queries.
The publisher owns it
If you have assigned copyright to a publisher, most will allow you to deposit the 'author accepted manuscript' in a repository. This is the author-created version sent to the publisher post-refereeing. Repository staff will check journal publishers' policies using the SHERPA RoMEO service and will consult you if there are difficulties.
Someone else owns it
For other types of output, permission may need to be sought from the copyright holder. Use the Notes field (under Details) to give any necessary additional explanation when uploading your work to the repository. Repository staff will consult you if there are difficulties.
- The ownership of copyright may be complicated and needs to be established before material is deposited. Copyright may be owned by UWE Bristol, by a UWE Bristol employee, by one or more third party (for example, a funder or collaborator) or by a combination of these. The position will be governed by:
- The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 as amended
- A contract of employment
- The UWE Bristol IP policy (details below)
- Any agreements relating to the material to be deposited.
- Scholarly Works may be excluded from ownership by UWE Bristol only if they:
- Comply with the definition of scholarly works found in paragraph 4.2 of the UWE Bristol Intellectual Property Policy and Regulations AND
- Fall outside the exclusions found in the same paragraph and the rest of this policy.
The Policy and Regulations can be found on the UWE Bristol website at rbi.uwe.ac.uk/intranet/contracts and rbi.uwe.ac.uk/Internet/contracts.
- In the case where an author wishes to publish material not subject to any other copyright claims the copyright in the material belongs to the author until they enter into an agreement with a publisher.
- Most copyright transfer agreements with publishers are 'exclusive', meaning that the author may not publish the work anywhere else (which includes repositories) without the permission of the publisher. Before submitting material for publication an author therefore will need to consider whether any agreement has already been signed with any publishers.
- Fortunately, most publishers will permit authors to deposit a copy of their work in an institutional repository, though there are usually conditions. The author needs to check the publisher's policy and then, if necessary, seek permission. Letter templates are available for seeking permission from publishers.
- In the case of journal articles, checking the publisher's policy is relatively easy. The JISC-funded SHERPA RoMEO service summarises the permissions that are normally given as part of each publisher's copyright transfer agreement. Most publishers will not permit the use of the published version in a repository, though a few prefer the use of this version.
- The version usually required is the "author's final" or "accepted" version (sometimes known as a "post-print") which is the author-created version sent to the publisher post-refereeing. Occasionally, the "submitted" version (sometimes known as a "pre-print") is required, which is the version sent to the publisher before refereeing.
- Sometimes the publisher sets an embargo period (often 12 months) before the item can be made publicly available. The repository has a facility for dealing with this; specifying an embargo period is part of the deposit process.
- The author also needs to check that third party rights (for example in images) are not being infringed. The agreement reached with the third party in relation to publication may not extend to use in a repository.
- If there is more than one author, it is essential to check with co-authors before depositing.
- Authors are asked to sign a declaration that rights have not been infringed before depositing. Repository staff will also check the position and will liaise with authors if there are difficulties.
- The Repository operates a 'take-down' policy. In the event of a complaint being made about an item in the Repository, the item will be removed immediately pending investigation.
Developments in scholarly communication
Scholarly communication is a constantly evolving field, and some authors may wish to consider alternatives to the conventional copyright transfer agreement. Some important developments are:
- Creative Commons: Creative Commons have developed a series of free licenses that authors can apply to their work in order to clearly set out their permissions for use. Authors can choose the license that suits their needs - all licenses require users to acknowledge the original creator, and otherwise vary from very open to more restricted. More information about the different licenses and how to apply them is available on the Creative Commons website.
- Licence to Publish: This allows authors to amend copyright agreements, in order to retain more rights to their work. This could include the right to deposit work in a research repository. The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) have created the SPARC Author Addendum to modify copyright agreements. They also provide associated instructions about how to use the SPARC Author Addendum to secure your rights as the author of a journal article. More information about retaining rights to your work can be found at SPARC Author Rights.
What if we're challenged?
We maintain a take-down policy. If we are challenged at any point we will immediately remove the item in question from the repository. We will then investigate the query and act upon it accordingly. The deposit can be reinstated in the future if this is appropriate.
When should I deposit?
You should be wary of depositing items before they have been accepted for publication as publishers may regard this as pre-publication, and there are concerns that the anonymity of peer review could be compromised.
If the item is going to be published, you should deposit as soon as it has been accepted for publication. Provided the publisher allows deposit at this stage your output will become visible, and get cited, more quickly than it would if you await formal publication.
Sometimes the publisher sets an embargo period (often 12 months) before the item can be made publicly available. This does not prevent you from depositing the 'author accepted manuscript' version immediately. The Repository has an embargo facility which will restrict access until the embargo period has passed.
Which version should I deposit?
In the case of book chapters and journal articles, the version most often stipulated by publishers for use in a repository is the "author's final" or "accepted" version (sometimes known as a "post-print") which is the author-created version sent to the publisher post-refereeing. Occasionally, the "submitted" version (sometimes known as a "pre-print") is required. In the case of journal articles, you can check the publisher's policy using the SHERPA RoMEO service.
Care is needed in depositing early versions (before submission or acceptance for publication) as publishers may regard this as pre-publication, and there are concerns that the anonymity of peer review could be compromised.
Proof copies are unlikely to be acceptable as the publisher's copy-editing, typesetting and logo are involved.
If you do not have the ideal version please provide whatever version you can (specifying which version it is). Repository staff will check the copyright position before moving the item to the live repository and will contact you if there are difficulties.
Can access to certain items be restricted if required?
Yes, access to an item can be restricted to members of the University if required. You may wish to restrict access if the item is commercially sensitive or covered by technology transfer regulations.
There is also an embargo facility. Some publishers set an embargo period (typically 12 months) before an item can be made publicly available.
What happens if I leave UWE Bristol?
The items you have provided will remain in the Repository indefinitely. If you move to another university, we can provide copies for their repository.
Can I delay adding my work to the Repository until publication?
In order to comply with REF 2021, journal articles and conference papers with an ISSN need to be uploaded within three months of acceptance. However, you do not have to add the full text of sensitive research to the repository before it is published. It is possible to add only the bibliographic details of a piece of work which is about to be published. The Repository Team can then add the full text in at a later date, once your research has been published.