158 · Representative Documents: Scholarly Communication Resolutions
University of Oregon
FAQ for the Library IR Deposit Resolution
http://pages.uoregon.edu/jqj/oa/lib-deposit-faq.html[11/27/12 11:04:09 AM]
You're probably going to transfer the copyright of your article to the publisher, which means that the publisher will have
full rights and you'll have none left unless the contract grants you some. But that doesn't really matter. Copyright law has
provisions for how to deal with a situation where you've granted conflicting rights to two people, just as contract law
does. With contracts the first usually takes precedence. With copyright law, 17 USC 205 (d) and (e) specifically, a prior
nonexclusive grant like this one takes precedence in most cases. In a few cases the nonexclusive grant needs to be in
writing, so we'll ask you to sign an acknowledgement of this policy as part of the library personnel process.
Note that the only thing this grant does is gives the UO and the public the right to distribute your preprint. Assuming a
typical copyright agreement, the publisher will still have the exclusive right to distribute the publisher's formatted final
version, to create derivative works, etc.
Does the author have to notify the journal about this?
Not usually. A few publication contracts might require it, but they are very rare. If the contract includes a warranty that
you the "seller" sign and that says you haven't already given away any rights, you'd probably want to cross that out
and/or include an addendum. But my belief is that normally you're completely within your rights to first offer some
nonexclusive usage rights and then later sign away your copyright ownership. Note that if you have given even a single
copy of your work to a colleague to read you have limited the copyright transfer slightly, since based on first sale that
colleague has the right to transfer her copy to someone else --but no publisher ever cares.
If you do decide you need to notify the journal, be sure to say that your employer requires this, since that increases your
bargaining power.
Why "author's final version" rather than the published version?
This is a compromise. For sure authors want a single canonical version, so it would be great to deposit a copy of the PDF
produced by the publisher. However, most publishers are strongly opposed to this, argue that they have added their own
copyrightable expression in producing the published version and that they need to retain control over that version in
order to make any money, and deny you permission to deposit the final version.
If your publisher's policies allow it, though, of course it's great to have the published version available in the institutional
repository, either instead of or in addition to the author's final vesion.
Does this interfere with authors profiting from their work?
Not at all. The resolution applies only to peer-reviewed "scholarly articles." These are the sorts of work that most
academics write so that they will be widely read, rather so that they can earn royalties on them. It does not apply to
authors' non-giveaway texts (largely books), nor to artistic works such as musical compositions or paintings. If there is a
particular work that qualifies but which an author expects to commercialize, he or she can request an exemption from the
policy for that work. The goal of the resolution is ensuring that authors get the maximum benefit from works such as
journal articles by making sure they are as widely read as possible.
Does this support Open Access?
Yes. Readers will have open access to the Scholars' Bank version of the work, though they may for some purposes still
want to reference the commercial version made available by the publisher. It's complementary to publishing in an open
access journal.
Why Creative Commons?
The resolution's use of a standard Creative Commons license reflects a change that we are presently working on in
Scholars' Bank Scholars' Bank currently requires that anyone submitting to it sign a license, but that license is (as of
April 2009) one that was developed locally and isn't necessarily as tightly crafted as we'd like. We're considering
switching Scholars' Bank to using Creative Commons licenses for all deposits. The Creative Commons organization has
emerged as the most highly respected source of legally well-crafted license terms for people who want to make their work
widely available. If you are interested in the details of the particular Creative Commons license, see
There are several alternative Creative Commons licenses. This one is the least inclusive, granting only the rights that are
really essential for anything that could be considered "open access." Several people have argued that the license should
grant additional rights to the public, for example the right to create derivative works (remixing) or the right to use your
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