Copyright and Open Access

The first publication of original contributions on SlavDok (Gold Open Access) is generally unproblematic from a copyright point of view. In the case of secondary publication (Green Open Access), on the other hand, which applies to articles previously published in printed or electronic form in monographic collective works (including festschrifts, encyclopaedias, congress volumes and handbooks - or subscription journals, yearbooks and newspapers), questions regularly arise about permissibility. In order to answer these questions, one must be informed about rights as an author.

Publication contract and author´s rights

First of all, it is advisable to know what right of use (simple or exclusive) has been granted to the publisher in the publication contract and whether or under what conditions a second publication is possible.

Exclusive right of use means that all rights are assigned to the publisher and secondary publication can only be granted with the explicit permission of the publisher. Simple right of use, on the other hand, means that authors can determine the further use of their publication themselves.

If there is no publishing agreement, it is advisable to check the publisher's conditions with the help of SHERPA/RoMEO-Verzeichnis. SHERPA/RoMEO contains the terms of use of numerous international academic publishers and individual journals with regard to possible secondary publication in OA. The spectrum is broad: some publishers prohibit non-commercial secondary publication on institutional or disciplinary repositories, while others release the content for open access publication in the manuscript version accepted for printing or even in the actual publisher's layout.

Please note that any deviating agreements in your respective publishing contract remain unaffected by the legally non-binding information in the SHERPA/RoMEO directory in any case. If the publisher or journal is not listed in the SHERPA/RoMEO directory, it is advisable to check the website of the respective publisher with regard to secondary publication in open access or to contact the publisher directly.

Self Archiving & Embargo Period

Many publishers generally allow a specific version of the article (submitted manuscript / preprint, accepted manuscript / postprint / Authors Accepted Manuscript or final publisher's version of the PDF / Published Version / Version of Record) to be deposited in a repository after an embargo period as part of self-archiving. The self-archiving policies (or repository policy, online archiving) of some publishers are linked below:

If there is an embargo on secondary publication, you are welcome to upload your texts and the SlavDok contract to SlavDok or send them to the SlavDok team before the embargo period ends. Of course, publication will only take place after the embargo has expired.

Author´s rights

If no explicit agreement on the rights of use has been contractually concluded, the provisions of paragraphs one and two of § 38 UrhG (the German Copyright Act) must be given priority in this context. These stipulate that in the case of publications in monographic, non-periodical collections - such as handbooks, encyclopaedias, commemorative publications or congress volumes - as well as in the case of publications in journals and yearbooks, the author is permitted to otherwise reproduce, distribute and make publicly available the publisher's version after an embargo period of 12 months has expired.

Even if you have granted a publisher an exclusive right of use to an article and have made other agreements to your disadvantage, you are still free to publish the work secondarily under certain conditions: should your academic article have been written in the context of a research activity that is at least half publicly funded and has been published in a collection that appears periodically at least twice a year, you may benefit from the restrictions in § 38 (4) UrhG (the German Copyright Act), which has been amended since 1 January 2014. In this case, you are permitted to make your article publicly available in the accepted manuscript version (so-called postprint) - i.e. not in the publisher's layout - after 12 months have elapsed since the first publication, provided this does not serve any commercial purpose. 

Publishing agreements

In order to be able to design future publications more freely, it is recommended not to transfer an exclusive or sole right of use to the publisher, but only a simple right of use. Otherwise, authors should at least reserve appropriate rights for secondary publication. The AuROA project (Authors and Legal Certainty for Open Access) is developing modular model contracts for this purpose in order to facilitate fair cooperation between authors and publication service providers. Here you will find recommendations and examples for deletions and additions in publishing agreements in favour of authors.

Open Access component of the Alliance, National und FID licences

Irrespective of the scope for action outlined in the German Copyright Act, you may also be able to make binding use of those Open Access rights to your work that have been negotiated within the framework of the Digital Information Priority Initiative of the Alliance of German Science Organisations or by the Specialised Information Service for science (FID) responsible for the respective discipline. For example, for the various international journal packages of the so-called Alliance, National and FID licences acquired with the support of the German Research Foundation, it is generally possible to upload the contents contained therein in the manuscript version accepted for printing and in many cases even in the publisher's layout to a freely selectable repository - i.e. also to SlavDok - after a varying embargo period has expired or even without embargo period. General information on the Open Access component of the Alliance, National or FID licences can be found on the homepage of the German Research Foundation and on the Slavonic Studies Journal Database (ZDB) on the Slavistik-Portal. 

SlavDok - or Open Content Licence?

By uploading the document to our server and on the basis of a written publication contract, you grant SlavDok a non-exclusive right of use to reproduce, distribute and make your work publicly available on the internet and, in addition, the right to make changes to the respective file format, in particular for archiving purposes (SlavDok licence). On the basis of this SlavDok licence, however, the use of your contribution published on SlavDok by third parties is rather restricted (§§ 53, 60c, 60d UrhG). If, on the other hand, you are interested in a more extensive use of your work, the Specialised Information Service for the Slavonic Studies, in agreement with the Alliance of German Science Organisations, recommends the granting of a Creative Commons licence with which you can release your contributions on SlavDok, e.g. for editing and further dissemination by third parties.

Please note that Creative Commons or other Open Content licences can generally only be granted for first publications on SlavDok and for those works for which you have an exclusive right of use. In all other cases, the consent of the publisher concerned must be obtained before free licensing is granted. On the other hand, all descriptive bibliographic metadata published on SlavDok - with the exception of abstracts - are available for free reuse under the CC0 1.0 Universal licence.

Support and contact

If you wish, the SlavDok team will support you in clarifying your secondary publication rights and will also be happy to answer any questions you may have about Open Access publishing. Please use our contact form. Irrespective of whether or not you make use of this advisory service, you are obliged to ensure that you actually hold the rights of use to be granted to the Specialised Information Service for the Slavonic Studies, in particular for making your work publicly accessible, before publishing it on SlavDok. SlavDok reserves the right to block access to documents that have already been published, for example in cases of copyright violation.