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Copyright Guide

Open Access

Open Access journals allow authors to retain copyright for their work. Usually open access articles are made available under a Creative Commons License (CCL), so an author would need to check with the publisher on the type of CCL when submitting an article for publication. 

For Hybrid Open Access journals, the author or institution is usually required to pay an Article Processing Fee (APC) for the article to be made open access. In such a case, the author retains copyright. The author can also choose not to publish an article as open access to save paying the APC, but copyright in this case would usually need to be transferred to the publisher.  

Retain your rights

Most publishers require the author to transfer their copyright to the publisher. This can create significant barriers for authors who want to use or allow others to use their work. It is important, therefore, to review the publisher copyright agreements and understand what rights the publisher allows the authors to retain.

Before signing any transfer agreements, authors are encouraged to negotiate with the publishers to retain certain rights: 

  1. Right to Reproduce

    e.g., make physical or digital copies of a work for colleagues, students, or others

  2. Right to Distribute

    ​​e.g., distribute physical or digital copies of a work to colleagues, students, or at conferences

  3. Right to Prepare Derivative Works

    e.g. prepare subsequent works such as an article, a chapter, or a book that builds upon the publication 

  4. Right to Display Publicly (related to artistic works)

    e.g. show photos, exhibits, and figures from a work in the classroom 

  5. Right to deposit a digital copy in an institutional repository or funding agency repository.

Self-archiving/deposit in an Institutional repository

Self-archiving occurs when an author deposits online a free copy of a document in order to provide open access. One way of doing this is to deposit a copy of the document in an institutional repository. 

Find out the different publisher self-archiving policies by looking up the journal title on Sherpa Romeo. This database contains information about the terms and conditions of many journals and publishers.

If the journal is not listed in Sherpa Romeo, you may find self-archiving terms and conditions on the journal's website, or in the agreement with the publisher. 

Use of works for Text and Data Mining (TDM)

Text and Data Mining is the process of extracting and analyzing large amount of text and data resources to find patterns, discover relationships and trend etc. 

Singapore Copyright Act 2021 added a new exception to the use of works for computational data analysis. It promotes the use of data for innovation. The exception applies to all types of copyrighted works. This exception permits commercial and non-commercial organizations to extract data for computational data analysis without the consent of copyright owner, subject to the conditions below: 

1. You have lawful access to the material, e.g. subscribed resources, open access resources. If the first copy is an infringed copy, you did not know this. 

2. The purpose is for computational data analysis; or preparing the work or recording for computational data analysis. 

3. You do not provide the copy to any person other than for the purposes below: 

  • verifying the results of the computational data analysis carried out by you.
  • collaborative research or study relating to the purpose of the computational data analysis carried out by you