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ORCA Guidance on Copyright and Author/Publisher Agreements

Please note that it is your responsibility as an author to ensure that uploading the full text of your publication does not breach copyright regulations. It is an ORCA requirement that you confirm your acceptance of copyright responsibility prior to depositing an item.

Advice and information on submitting full-text publications to ORCA

The majority of publishers will allow authors to deposit a version of their publications in an institutional repository, usually the author's final peer-reviewed manuscript as accepted for publication ('the post-print'), rather than the 'published version', e.g. final PDF. It is therefore important that you retain copies of your work from different stages of the publication process. We recommend that you at least keep the final accepted version ('post print') copy of your paper.

You can normally upload full text in the following circumstances:

  • As the final peer-reviewed manuscript as accepted for publication by the publisher ('the post-print'). This is the version that has been peer-reviewed and corrected, and is the version that will be published, but does not have the Publisher's imprint, typesetting or pagination.
  • Where you have signed a publication agreement but with an amendment allowing deposit in an institutional repository (see Author Addendum below)
  • Where you have assigned copyright to the publisher via a publication agreement but have written permission from the publisher to upload the work into an institutional repository - please email this agreement to the ORCA team when you deposit your publication. See appendix below for a letter template for writing to publishers asking them to allow you to deposit your research in ORCA.
  • You have a written agreement with the publisher that you retain the rights to the publication, which include the right to make the work freely available via an institutional repository. Often a publisher may request a defined period of exclusivity preventing further publication of your work; you should ensure that this period is defined clearly and that you act in accordance with this. You can still upload the full text to ORCA but an embargo will put into place by the ORCA team in accordance with the period of exclusivity. Please email this agreement to the ORCA team when you deposit your publication.
  • Where the publisher allows self archiving (see Publisher's Policies below or ask your publisher directly).

Advice and information on Author/Publisher Agreements

When your work is accepted for publication, the publisher will require you to sign a publication agreement. You should read carefully any copyright agreements you are asked to sign, and if necessary seek professional legal advice. If the agreement is signed without retaining any rights, you may have to obtain written permission from the publisher to re-use the work, for example in:

  • Teaching and use in course packs
  • Creating derivative works
  • Re-use of excerpts in other works
  • Posting the work on an author website or in an institutional repository
  • Making copies of the work for colleagues

You are encouraged, where possible, to seek a licence to print agreement with a publisher rather than a Copyright Transfer Agreement. This should ensure that the author(s) retain all rights. Once again, please note that the publisher may request a defined term of exclusivity preventing any further publication of your work. After such period you may, if agreed, be free to submit your work to ORCA. Please ensure you are clear on what you have agreed to prior to signing any agreement. If in doubt seek clarification in writing (any significant changes should be reflected in the agreement) and/or seek professional legal advice.

Author Addendum

If a publisher's agreement does not refer to the right to deposit in an institutional repository, it may be possible to amend the agreement to explicitly request this. You should discuss this with your publisher. You can use the SPARC Author's Addendum ( to make amendments to the publisher's form.

Publisher's Policies

The SHERPA RoMEO list on Publisher copyright policies and self-archiving (see link below) is helpful in determining what versions can be deposited. Please note that this website is not fully comprehensive and some journal titles are not included. If in doubt, it is best to contact your publisher directly.

SHERPA RoMEO website:

Research funder policies can be viewed on the SHERPA JULIET website:

Further help

If you would like further advice on copyright, including the use of third party copyright material in your work, please contact .

Appendix: Suggested letter / email template requesting copyright permission to make full text available on repository

Dear Sir or Madam, I would like to deposit the full text of my publications in Cardiff University's institutional repository and as part of that process I am seeking your permission to include the articles/book chapters/conference papers listed below:

[INSERT bibliographic reference of item(s) you are referring to]

ORCA (Online Research @ Cardiff), our institutional repository (, is a not for profit service used by the University's academic authors, providing access to the full text of their publications via Open Access self-archiving. As well as the full text, full bibliographic details are provided, including details of the original publication. If possible, it is preferred to archive the finalised PDF version as it appears in print. The PDF version has an advantage over mounting the author's own version, in that it maintains consistency in appearance of the article wherever it is read. This also maintains a closer association of the article with the original publication, through the header title and publisher's house style.

Any full text material in the repository is available to the public and will remain accessible indefinitely.

I would be grateful if you could email to confirm that I have your permission to include these articles in Cardiff University's repository and to state any conditions that are associated. If it would be possible to use the published PDF versions of the articles for this purpose, then please confirm this also.

Thank you for your help and I look forward to hearing from you within the next 5 working days.

Yours faithfully,