Copyright guide for authors

Does copyright allow me to deposit this item in ORA?

Yes if:

  1. you own the copyright of the item
  2. you have the permission of the copyright owner(s) and any co-authors to deposit it in ORA 
  3. the work is out of copyright
Copyright permissions includes content within the item where copyright is held by a third party eg photographs or extracts. Limited amounts of such content might be permitted under 'fair dealing'. Cambridge University provides helpful advice on fair dealing (for dissertations but applicable to all works)

NOTE: Most journal publishers permit deposit of a full-text version of the article in ORA. There is a helpful website of publisher policies at

Books and book sections usually have to be considered on a case by case basis. ORA staff are happy to contact your publisher on your behalf. Contact us at

Published Open Access items and ORA

If you have chosen to publish your work with a publisher via their paid Open Access method, commonly referred to as 'Gold Open Access', the choice of Creative Commons License you attribute to your work along with the publisher's Open Access policy will determine how your work can be disseminated in ORA. Usually when selecting the Gold Open Access option the final published PDF of full-text can be used for institutional deposit in ORA. 

For more information on Gold Open Access and CC Licences see the Open Access Oxford website and Creative Commons website.

Copyright Transfer Agreements (CTA) or licence to publish

When submitting an article for publication it is likely you will be presented with a CTA or licence to publish.

  1. Read the CTA or licence carefully before signing and make sure it allows you to carry out actions that you need (eg to re-use it or distribute it as you wish including via ORA)
  2. If not, consider amending the document or approaching the publisher to agree an amendment

Preservation only

If you are not able to disseminate the item in ORA because of copyright you may well be able to deposit a copy to be held in the 'dark archive' for preservation purposes and to which access is restricted. There can be a link to the publisher's version (if applicable) on the freely available item record. You will benefit from the additional publicity of your work via the item record.

Which version of an article can I deposit?

  • There will be several different versions of your work between completion and publication. Different publishers permit you to deposit different versions in ORA. Common options are:
    • Publisherís version (either the publisherís PDF or other version). The publisher holds the copyright in the typography and layout of the work.
    • Authorís final accepted manuscript after peer-review including amendments made following peer-review but not including publisherís typesetting and editing. Often known as a post-print (although publishers may refer to this version as a pre-print Ė see authorís version below)
    • Authorís version prior to peer-review (not refereed). Often known as a pre-print (please note this definition may differ from a publisherís definition of a pre-print)
    • Text revised after publication. Check copyright holder and any terms of agreement
  • Sometimes publishers require that pre- or post-prints are removed from the archive on publication of the final version by the publisher.
  • Some publishers stipulate that a link to their website and/or a few sentences of set text are included
  • See the SHERPA/Romeo website to help you check which version should be used


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