Copyright in the context of self-archiving

Numerous publishers (see SHERPA/RoMEO statistics) allow authors to archive a specimen of their articles (be it preprint or postprint) in institutional repositories, amongst them Cambridge University Press, Springer, etc.

Access to the full-text within ORBilu will only be "open" (i.e. authorized from the internet) if the author has the required rights, e.g.:

  • if he/she has not signed a transfer of authors’ rights to the publisher in connection with electronic distribution; apart from subsequent renegotiation of the agreement concluded with the publisher, this being principally the case for works published prior to 1993;
  • if the publisher of the work authorizes self-archiving in an institutional repository.

In order to assist authors to learn about publisher’s policies with whom they have published or wish to publish, an interface has been established from ORBilu to SHERPA/RoMEO which summarises such editorial policies.

Where publishers are not included in SHERPA/RoMEO, the author who wishes to distribute the full text of a publication via the internet must get in touch with the publisher directly. Templates (in English, French and German) are available for this purpose in the Toolbox. Once the publisher's reply has been received, it is recommended that authors transmit it to the ORBilu team, who will then communicate the information to SHERPA/RoMEO in order for them to update their database.

For any document put on open access in ORBilu, the author must explicitly authorize the electronic distribution of his/her document over the Internet via ORBilu by electronically signing a repository license. Regarding collective works, the license will automatically be transmitted to all authors for whom an email address was provided, be they members of the University of Luxembourg or not.

This license assures the University that the author retains the necessary rights for electronic distribution of his/her works. To this effect, the author is solely responsible for their content.

Full-Text Access

As well as being referenced, the full-text of every article and paper from conference proceedings that has been published in peer-reviewed journals by the members of from 1 January 2009 onwards needs to be loaded into ORBilu. The author will permit open access to the full-text of the documents each time that conditions allow him/her to do so.

However, when:

  • the publisher imposes an embargo before rendering the document freely accessible;
  • the publisher does not permit distribution on Open Access;
  • the author has made contact with the publisher and is waiting for the publisher’s consent to make the full-text freely accessible;

the researcher will place the full-text of the document on restricted access or on open access with embargo, which means that users outside of the Institution, as well as students, will only have access to the full-text by way of the “request a copy” link addressed to the owner via ORBilu.

As for full-texts with an embargo, after expiry of the embargo period as defined by the depositor, ORBilu will automatically convert them to open access, making them freely available to all users.

The obligation to deposit the full-text document in ORBilu only concerns articles published in peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings, but it is in no way restrictive. ORBilu can, in fact, cater for electronic versions of any other type of publication (monographs, reports, conference presentations, lectures for the general public, posters, course notes, ...)

Which version to deposit?

Once the publication is accepted, the author will load his/her final version of the article. Thereafter, he/she may complete the reference by adding the official version with the publisher’s lay-out (publisher's postprint) if permitted by the publisher and as soon as it is available. The objective is in fact to place in ORBilu the full-text of the articles as soon as feasible so as to improve distribution.

The author will choose a type of access (open, open with embargo or restricted) for all of the uploaded versions, especially according to the contracts which he/she might have signed with the publisher.

Once the process has been completed, the bibliographic reference of the document will always be visible, regardless of whether a full-text document in open or restricted access is associated with it.

Need help?

Still unsure of which version you may deposit and with which level of accessibility? Send us an e-mail with the name of the journal and the publisher and we will help you determine your rights.

For more information on the legal aspects of depositing your publications in ORBilu, see also Legal Aspects prepared by the ORBi team at the University of Liège.

Please be advised that the guidance provided on the University of Liège’s (ULg) website reflects Belgian law and as such, is not exactly the same as in Luxembourg. However, it should be noted that most often, it is not Luxembourg law which is cited in publishing agreements and as such, ULg’s website can still provide a good overview of the issues in question.