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- electronic publishing at SLU

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Introduction to copyright law

Copyright law protects the rights of writers and other creative persons to control the use of what they have created. You don't have to apply for copyright - your original work is protected by law as soon as it is created.

As a rule, if the work is created by a Swedish author or has been first published in Sweden it is protected under the Swedish Copyright Act.

In principle, copyright law protects the work regardless of its format. For instance the law applies to printed as well as electronic texts and images.

The sections below give brief information on copyright issues related to publishing in the SLU Epsilon archives.

What are the rules for images?

To use someone else's images or photos, whether printed or electronic, you must get permission from the person or company who holds the copyright). This also applies to using images and photos in your doctoral, licenciate or student thesis, and regardless of whether the thesis is to be printed or published online. Please note that if you cannot obtain a permission, for instance if you can't find the originator, you cannot legally include the image in your text.

What are the rules for doctoral and licenciate theses?

Article compilation theses:
As the author, you have full copyright to the summarizing chapter (Swe: "kappan") of the thesis. At least that chapter shall always be published in the Epsilon archive for theses (according to a decree from the vice-chancellor since 2003). If the articles in your thesis have been, or are to be, published in journals you need permission from the publishers to deposit a copy of the articles in Epsilon (in the Open Archive). This is called parallel publishing. Read more about open access and parallel publishing here. Also see the section about scientific articles below.

Monograph theses:
As the author, you have full copyright to your monograph thesis. By the vice-chancellor's decree, it should be published in its entirety in the Epsilon archive for theses. If you are going to sign over the copyright to a publisher, make sure to retain the right to also deposit a copy in the SLU institutional archive Epsilon.

What are the rules for articles?

When an article is to be published in a traditional, non-Open Access, journal your copyright is normally signed over to the publisher. Each publisher then has its own rules regarding what you as an author can do with your article after signing the contract. If you want to comply with the SLU Open Access policy, your publisher must allow parallel publishing in an institutional archive. About 70 % of all publishers now allow this in some form in their standard copyright transfer contracts. Your SLU library can help you investigate what rights you have!

What are the rules for student theses?

As part of your education at the SLU, you are to publish your student thesis or theses in Epsilon. This is mandatory for all of SLUs faculties and departments by vice-chancellor's decree (dated 18th of June 2007) and valid from the autumn semester of 2008. As an author, you have the copyright to your thesis. The agreement you sign by depositing your thesis in Epsilon only means that you give the SLU the right to publish and keep a copy of your thesis online in the archive. You may still use your thesis any way you choose. If you sign any other agreement later, however, you must make sure that the new agreement permits that the SLU keeps a copy of your thesis online in Epsilon.

Read the agreement regarding publishing in Epsilon.
Read the policy text for the Epsilon Archive for student theses. (If the page appears in Swedish, switch to English in the top right corner of the page.)

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