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Publishing your research

Factors to consider when publishing your work or research

This section contains information about publishing your research outcomes and protecting your copyright.

For further information on copyright ownership and the rights within the exclusive control of the copyright owner, visit Who owns copyright? and Rights of copyright owners.

Copyright notices on your copyright material
  • In Australia, it is not necessary for published copyright material to carry a copyright symbol or notice to receive copyright protection. However, this may be a requirement in some countries.

    It is a sensible precaution to put a copyright notice on your copyright material as it may assist with protection in overseas countries and serves as a reminder to others that the material is protected by copyright. It also indicates that you have claimed copyright in the material and makes it easier for users to contact the copyright owner if they need permission to copy the material.

    The copyright notice on your copyright material should, at the very least, include the copyright symbol, your name and year of first publication.

Entering into a publishing agreement
  • It is wise to obtain legal advice before entering into a publishing agreement. For example, you need to clearly understand what rights you are granting the publisher and whether you retain any rights, such as the right to include your work in a University repository, or to use excerpts from your work in later versions.

New publishing and licensing models
  • The internet has enabled new models of scholarly communication and alternatives to the traditional publishing model of authors assigning their rights to a publisher.

    The Open Access movement, and introduction of Creative Commons licensing, have resulted in opportunities to:

    • deal with publishers who allow you to retain some rights such as the right to place the work in an open access institutional repository
    • increase the amount of material available on the internet for others to use and build upon. Creative Commons has developed a number of licence templates, which you can use when releasing your work on the internet. Under the licences, a creator allows others to use their material for free with various levels of restriction. For details, see the Creative Commons website.
Uploading your copyright material to a University website
  • The following information should be considered before uploading your copyright material to any of the University websites mentioned below:

    Uploading your research publications to Sydney eScholarship Repository

    Sydney eScholarship Repository is an open access institutional repository for selected research associated with the University. For further information on the types of scholarly works that are included and how to archive your material in the University’s institutional repository, please refer to the Ask Us Now repository topic.

    Many academic journal publishers have clauses in their publishing agreements that permit the author depositing a version of their work in an open access institutional repository. You should check this before signing an agreement with a publisher. If your agreement doesn’t include the right to archive a version of your work in an open access institutional repository, you can request an addendum to your contract using the University’s Author Addendum to Publication Agreement tool.

    You can also check the Sherpa Romeo website for a listing of the copyright policies of journal publishers and their attitudes to self-archiving versions of journal articles in open access institutional repositories.

    Uploading your University thesis to Sydney eScholarship Repository

    If you are a former PhD or Masters (Research) student who submitted their thesis in hardcopy (generally before 2013), you have the option of making your thesis available open access by submitting a digital copy of your thesis for inclusion in Sydney eScholarship Repository.

    Lodging your thesis will provide archival storage and give it international exposure, as your work will be indexed by Google Scholar and other scholarly search services.

    If you take up this option, your thesis will be accessible by anyone worldwide with internet access. You must obtain written permission from the copyright owner of any third party copyright material used in your thesis because the fair dealing provisions will not extend to this use.

    Visit Copyright and your thesis for further information about publishing your thesis.

Uploading your research publications to personal websites
  • Some publishers allow authors to upload copies of their publications to free public servers in your subject area or to your personal website. However, some publishers:

    • may only permit certain versions of publications to be uploaded (eg a pre-print or a post-refereed version rather than the final version – the use of these terms often varies from publisher to publisher)
    • specify that access must be restricted to internal institutional use – unlimited access by the general public is not allowed
    • impose an embargo and will not permit posting material on a personal website until a specified period of time has elapsed

    Information in relation to a particular journal publisher’s policy may be available on the Sherpa Romeo website, or the publisher’s website.

    Before uploading your publication:

    • check with your publisher that you have the right to upload the publication and allow it to be used in the way contemplated
    • check you have all necessary permissions from the rights holders of third party copyright material included in the publication for the contemplated use
Research data sets
  • A compilation of a data set is most likely to be protected by copyright as a literary work.

    If you have received funding from external funding agencies or commercial organisations there may be additional specifications relating to copyright ownership.

    Completed research data sets should be made openly available for reuse by other researchers, unless this is prevented by the requirements of legislation or University policy, or ethical, contractual or confidentiality obligations.

    For more information on making your research data available for reuse, see the data publication guide.

Obtaining copyright clearances
Remember to comply with moral rights obligations
Copyright collecting society memberships
  • If you are publishing your copyright material, consider becoming a member of the collecting society relevant to the material you are publishing. Collecting societies are part of worldwide networks that license the use of their members’ copyright material and collect and distribute royalties on their behalf.

    Some of the relevant collecting societies include:

    • APRA AMCOS – for music writers and music publishers
    • Copyright Agency – for authors and book and journal publishers
    • Screenrights – for rights holders in films, and television and radio programs
    • Viscopy – for visual artists

This information is provided as general information only. It provides a basic introduction to copyright and is not intended to be comprehensive.

Reviewed November 2018

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