Copyright and licences

The University of Surrey recognises the importance of addressing copyright issues related to scholarly publishing and open research.

Copyright issues

Retention of rights

The University’s Intellectual Property Code (PDF) specifies copyrights for different types of outputs, including scholarly publications. Where possible, copyright should be retained rather than being signed over to the publisher.

Even when copyright cannot be retained, retention of the right to share the author’s accepted manuscript (AAM) is strongly supported as it is essential for open access. The University stands behind new initiatives like the UK Scholarly Communications Licence (UKSCL) which enable authors to share their publications online in a timely way.

Compliance with copyright

The Open Research team in Library and Learning Services currently runs a copyright checking service, to ensure that publisher’s policies and embargoes are respected. Publications added to the University’s open access repository are accompanied by an appropriate copyright disclaimer and a link to the publisher’s website, as specified by the publisher. In the unlikely case of copyright infringement the University’s repository also has a Take Down Policy.

Licensing of scholarly works

The terms of re-use of scholarly publications are essential, as they determine whether and how people who access the work can re-share, adapt or even use the work in a commercial context. Creative Commons Licences offer a standardised scheme that helps creators define re-use rights.

Open access publications

Journal articles, conference proceedings and monographs published under an open access model are typically under a Creative Commons Licence. Funders like the Research Councils UK and the Wellcome Trust require a Creative Commons Attribution Licence (CC-BY). The University has compliance checking processes in place to ensure that this condition is met where appropriate.

Other types of output

The University promotes the use of open licences for other scholarly outputs, including technical reports, theses and datasets. The Open Research team provides advice based on:

  • Funders’ mandates that apply to these outputs
  • The inclusion of third party copyright material in the work
  • The terms of any publishing agreements and sponsor agreements.

Contact us

If you need help with copyright then please contact our Digital Collections Officer, Christine Daoutis: