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ResearchWorks Copyright and Author Rights Policy

Authors typically own a copyright in a work at the point of creation, but they can contain or quote other copyrighted works. Copyright may also be held by a third party. For example, authors may be required by a journal publisher to assign their copyright to them via a copyright transfer form. Some works that are done for an employer are considered “works-for-hire,” and in these cases the copyright resides with the employer.

Varieties of ownership

1. If Author(s) Own the Copyright

If the author solely holds the copyright, he/she can simply submit the work.

2. Copyrights in works within the Submitted Work

As noted, many works contain or quote other copyrighted works, and the law allows some use of other copyrighted works without permission under fair use. If use is likely to exceed fair use guidelines, permission from the copyright holder should be obtained.

3. If the Copyright is Owned by a Publisher

Authors that have assigned their copyright to a publisher may still be able to deposit works in ResearchWorks Archive as many publishers will permit deposit of their published works in institutional repositories such as ResearchWorks Archive. Current publisher policies are available at the Sherpa web site. Publication agreements may also allow authors to deposit in an institutional depository. It may also be possible to negotiate the right to submit your work to ResearchWorks Archive with a publisher. For a broader discussion on your rights as an author go to the SPARC web site.

If there are any specific provisions that the publisher requires such as citing the publication or delaying access for a certain time period after publication let ResearchWorks Archive staff know by emailing us.

4. Works For Hire

It is important for UW authors to know that by established policy, the University of Washington “…acknowledges the right of faculty, staff, and students to prepare and publish, through individual initiative, articles, pamphlets, and books that are copyrighted by the authors…” There are exceptions to this policy that are explained in full in the University's Copyright Policy.

5. Other Rights Considerations

Assuming that authors own the copyright for materials submitted to and made available via ResearchWorks Archive, they do not relinquish or compromise it by doing so. ResearchWorks Archive will indicate that the author(s) retain the copyright, and they do not need the permission of ResearchWorks Archive to make any other use of it.  However, authors will not be able to sign exclusive agreements with any other party after submission to ResearchWorks Archive, and authors wanting to publish the work elsewhere should inform the publisher that the work is also in ResearchWorks Archive.