Copyright Issues

The RRI Digital Repository aims to host the research publications of RRI and make them freely available globally.  One of the major concerns associated with this kind of open access repository is publishers’ copyright.

Journal publishers generally require authors to sign some sort of copyright transfer agreement or license to publish agreement prior to the publication of articles.  This varies from publisher to publisher – so the rights that you retain will vary.  The following guidelines will help you find out whether your publisher will permit you to deposit your paper (and which version of the paper) in our repository:

1.      If you have a copy of the agreement that you have signed, you can check it to find out if you are permitted to make your publication available in a repository.  However, some agreements do not explicitly cover this issue.  Also, even if the agreement appears to forbid deposit in a repository, some publishers do change their policy and apply it retrospectively.  It is good idea in such cases to get the latest information regarding this from the publisher’s website.


2.      If you do not have a copy of the agreement, the following sources will be helpful in determining the self-archiving policy of the publisher:

  • The SHERPA/RoMEO publisher Policies List (search by Journal titile or publisher) or the Eprints/RoMEO Publisher Policies List (search by Journal title)
  • Publisher’s website


3.      You could contact the publisher directly and ask them.


4.      Some publishers do not require authors to sign a copyright assignment form.  Instead, they ask authors to sign a non-exclusive license to publish and allow authors to retain copyright, including self-archiving.


Interpreting copyright agreements

The following explanations of terms commonly used will  help you to decide whether authors are permitted to deposit their articles in repositories or not.  

  • Preprints:  Many publishers do permit authors to make the preprint version of the article available in repositories.  By this they are referring to the pre-refereed version.  If you deposit your paper in the arXiv preprint server, then you could deposit it in our repository also.

  • Post-refereed version (Postprints): Some publishers will allow the post-refereed, final author version to be included in institutional repositories, but not in the form of the formatted PDF file that appears in the journal.

  • Publisher’s PDF: Some publishers prefer the final PDF version to be used, as this is a clear indication that an article in a repository is the bona-fide version.

  • Personal web site:  Some publishers will permit authors to make copies of  their publications available on a personal website, but not in an institutional repository.  If this is the case, we can link to copies held on your personal web site.  In this way, people searching our repository will also be able to access the full text of your paper.