Copyright Guidelines

 

To deposit a work in Work and Family Commons (WFC), you must hold the copyright to that work or have the approval of the copyright holder to do so. However, if the work has been (or will be) published by a traditional publisher, you may have transferred your copyright to them as part of the publication process. You need to know the copyright status of your work before submitting it to WFRN.


IF YOU RETAIN COPYRIGHT

If you retain copyright to the work in question and have not given someone else exclusive rights to distribute it, you should be able to submit it to WFC. If you share the copyright with other authors, check with them to be sure they also approve of the work/document being archived and made available here.


IF YOU DON’T RETAIN COPYRIGHT

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 the Work and Family Commons. You can check your publisher’s copyright policy to determine what is allowed to be submitted to a subject matter repository. We recommend that you use the SHERPA listing of publisher copyright policies. While the SHERPA listing is growing, it does not cover all publishers. Please contact your publisher if you have a specific question or need assistance determining the copyright status of your work.

Some publishers allow such deposits, though often with certain conditions. Here are a few examples:

  • Virtually all peer-reviewed journals allow authors to publish working papers (prior to peer review) in an open access format, even if an author intends to publish the final version in that journal. These are called pre-prints.
  • Some publishers allow the post-print to be submitted to a repository but not the publisher’s PDF version. (The “post-print” is the final, post-peer-review version of the article that has been accepted for publication. It is typically submitted to the repository as an author’s PDF file. The "publisher’s PDF" is an exact page image of the article as it appears in print.) For more information, see this guide to distinguishing a publisher’s PDF and a post-print, courtesy of University of Pennsylvania’s Scholarly Commons.
  • Some publishers allow deposit but not until the publisher’s version has been released (or some specified period or embargo after release).
  • Some publishers require acknowledgement that they hold the copyright and/or a link to the final version on their website.
  • Other publishers do not allow any version of the published article to be deposited. 


IF YOU DON’T KNOW WHO PUBLISHES YOUR JOURNAL

Because of mergers and acquisitions, it is sometimes difficult to identify the parent company for a journal. The SHERPA site allows you to input the journal name and look up the publisher to check its policies.


HOW TO INCLUDE CITATION INFORMATION

When you submit an article, in addition to entering descriptive information such as the author(s), title, date, keywords, and abstract, it is important to include citation information. This should be noted in the Additional Information section (for published papers) when you submit the paper.


DIGITAL OBJECT IDENTIFIER (DOI)

Many publishers assign a number called a digital object identifier (DOI) to each article they publish. If you want to, or are required to indicate a reference to the publisher’s final version of a paper, including a DOI provides a stable, permanent identifier. You can turn a DOI into a URL by prefixing http://dx.doi.org/ to the front of the DOI. Alternatively, you can use CrossRef’s free DOI lookup service. You have to enter either the Journal Title or the ISSN (title is recommended), and either the first named author or the first page number. The more information you input, the fewer results you will need to review.


IF YOU ARE SUBMITTING AN ARTICLE FOR PUBLICATION

Consider retaining rights to your article by attaching the SPARC Addendum  to your publisher’s contract.


QUESTIONS

Please consult the FAQ or email us with questions at workandfamily@sas.upenn.edu. Or contact your publisher with specific questions.


PLEASE NOTE

This document only provides guidelines and should not be relied upon for legal advice.