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Open Access

Copyright & Creative Commons

Copyright holders control the right to allow open access publication and retain the right to be acknowledged. How a copyright holder permits what can and cannot be done with their work (when open access) is in the form of a Creative Commons License. At the School, the most common Creative Commons Licenses will be for articles, chapters and research data.

When Green Open Access occurs, the publisher will typically insist on a Creative Commons License and the Library Team rely on SHERPA/ROMEO for this. More recently, publisher workflows will give authors (going through Gold Open Access) the choice to assign a Creative Commons License.

The most common Creative Commons Licenses to familiarise yourself with are:

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CC-BY: The text of an article can be reused and reproduced in any way, including for commercial purposes, provided there is appropriate author attribution.

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CC-BY-NC: As above but this licence restricts use to non-commercial purposes.

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CC-BY-NC-ND: The text of an article can be used only in its original form and must have appropriate author attribution.

  
What Creative Commons License shall I choose?

If you are a grant holder (especially with ERC/UKRI) the Creative Commons License you are to assign is already decided. Check the contract or your research data management plan.

For authors that are not restricted by a research grant, the choice is very much yours and while we endorse the norm of using CC-BY whenever possible, the advice from the Library Team is ‘as open as possible, as closed as necessary’.

When making research data open access, please pay attention to whether any data was acquired via a vendor. The contracts in place to acquire the data may impact the Creative Common License or even prohibit open access.

What Creative Commons License Shall I Choose?

If you are a grant holder (especially with ERC/UKRI) the Creative Commons License you are to assign is already decided. Check the contract or your research data management plan.

For authors that are not restricted by a research grant, the choice is very much yours and while we endorse the norm of using CC-BY whenever possible, the advice from the Library Team is ‘as open as possible, as closed as necessary’.

When making research data open access, please pay attention to whether any data was acquired via a vendor. The contracts in place to acquire the data may impact the Creative Common License or even prohibit open access.

Rights Retention Strategy (RRS)

A rights retention strategy (RRS) is when academic authors can retain rights over their manuscripts. The benefit of this approach is that authors can keep sufficient intellectual rights to the author-accepted-manuscript. Transformative Agreement negotiations are attempting to get publishers to acknowledge the existence of a RRS with mixed success.

As it is a new development within scholarly communication, we will provide links below with the latest developments.

A recently published primer on rights retention has been recently published with further details.

A 2021 letter signed by publishers displaying their opposition to RRS