Q. Do I need to hold the copyright to my work in order to submit it to ScholarlyCommons?


In order to submit a work to ScholarlyCommons you must hold the copyright to that work or have the approval of the copyright holder to do so. If the work is also being published by a traditional publisher, you may have transferred your copyright to them as part of the publication process. In this case, the publisher may allow you to still post the work but may have certain restrictions to its posting. You need to know the copyright status of your work or your publisher’s policies before submitting it to ScholarlyCommons. If you are Penn faculty, ScholarlyCommons staff can check the copyright status and publisher permissions of your work(s) for you! Please see the Faculty Assisted Submission page for more information.

If you retain copyright to the work, and have not given someone else exclusive rights to distribute it, you should be able to submit it to ScholarlyCommons.

If you do not retain copyright but have transferred your rights to your publisher, you may still be able to deposit a version of your paper in ScholarlyCommons. Some publishers, for instance, only allow posting of the preprint or postprint version of an article or book chapter, not the final published version. To determine your journal or publisher's policy towards submitting to an institutional repository, we recommend consulting SHERPA/RoMEO, a public database of publisher copyright policies as a starting point. Bear in mind, however, that SHERPA/RoMEO does not cover all journals or publishers, may not have the most current publisher information, and should not be relied upon as legal counsel. Please contact us if you have questions, or need assistance determining the copyright status of your work. If you are Penn faculty, please see the Faculty Assisted Submission page for more information on how ScholarlyCommons staff can help you determine publisher policies.

Author Rights

The best way to ensure that you can submit your works to ScholarlyCommons is to either publish open access or make sure that you retain your rights as the author. 

How do I do that?

  • Search the DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals) to find peer-reviewed scientific and scholarly open access journals.
  • Retain your rights as the author of a journal article by adding an author addendum to your publication agreement. The author addendum will ensure that you retain your copyright and can distribute your work as you see fit. Use the SPARC Author Addendum to get started.
  • Save your preprints and postprints! Even if you publish in a traditional journal, it's likely that you'll be able to submit a non-final version of your article in an institutional repository like ScholarlyCommons. 
  • Last Updated Jul 06, 2020
  • Views 54
  • Answered By Margaret Janz

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