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Scholarly Communications: Copyright for Research

This guide provides useful information on scholarly publishing, such as finding the best journal, author identity, or promoting publications and communications.

UCD Research

Research Repository UCD is a digital collection of open access scholarly research publications from University College Dublin. Where material has already been published it is made available subject to the open-access policies of the original publishers. This service is maintained by UCD Library.

Find information regarding the Repository for authors, end users and publishers on our guide:

UCD Digital Library is a platform for exploring cultural heritage, engaging with digital scholarship, and accessing research data. This service is maintained by UCD Library. For information on use of the collection see Terms and Conditions.

Copyright for Authors

As the author of a work you are the copyright holder, unless and until you transfer the copyright to someone else in a signed agreement.

Normally, the copyright holder possesses the exclusive rights of reproduction, distribution, public performance, public display, and modification of the original work. An author who has transferred copyright without retaining these rights must ask permission, unless the use is one of the statutory exemptions in copyright law.

Decisions concerning use of the work, such as distribution, access, pricing, updates, and any use restrictions belong to the copyright holder. Authors who have transferred their copyright without retaining any rights may not be able to place the work on course web sites, copy it for students or colleagues, deposit the work in a public online archive, or reuse portions in a subsequent work. That’s why it is important to retain the rights you need.

The law allows you to transfer copyright while still keeping rights for yourself and others. The terms of your publication agreement determine what rights you give to your publisher, and what rights you retain.

Creative Common Licences

Creative Commons licences do not replace copyright, but by adopting Creative Commons licences authors relinquish some or all of their rights and allow others to use their published work more flexibly. 

The CC-BY licence is normally recommended for Open Access publishing and public funding bodies in the UK and Ireland are increasingly requiring its use. This licence grants users the freedom to share and re-use published content as long as the original author is attributed. 

Creative Commons' licence choosing tool can help you select the right licence.

Creative Commons Ireland provides information specific in the Irish context.

The website was created by staff in Faculty of Law, University College Cork.


Image by ( [CC BY 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons from Wikimedia Commons


The information contained within these pages is intended as a general guideline, and an interpretation of current copyright issues. It is not intended and should not be construed as legal advice.