Publishing

When publishing your research results, you have to consider copyright law.

Publishers might ask you to transfer your copyright or will ask fees when you want to use copyrighted material in your work. On this page you will find information about how to act when you are approached by publishers or organisations like the Copyright Clearance Center or Rightslink and how to consider copyright law when you are about to publish your research results.

What should I do when I am asked to transfer my copyrights to a publisher?

During a paper submission process, you may be asked to transfer your copyrights to the publisher. This is not uncommon. If you have questions about the forms you have to fill in, please contact either the Copyright Information Point through the contact button or the legal officers of your Science Group. Keep in mind that you can negotiate about retaining copyright or the right to use your work for further research and educational purposes as well as the right to publish the paper later as a chapter in your PhD thesis.

What is Copyright Clearance Center?

Copyright Clearance Center (CCC) is a company based in the USA. It provides collective copyright licensing services by acting as an agent between academic publishers and institutions or authors. When submitting a manuscript to a journal, you may be notified by CCC that you have to pay for using a figure or text (see question below: What should I do when I am aksed to pay for the usage of copyrighted materials by organisations like CCC/RightsLink?). To pay this fee, you may be asked to create a RightsLink account (see question below: Does WUR Library has a RightsLink account?).

What should I do when I am asked to pay for the use of Copyrighted materials by organisations like Copyright Clearance Center (CCC)/RightsLink?

When submitting a manuscript to a journal, you may be asked to pay for the use of copyrighted material in your manuscript, for example, a figure. In general, you do not have to pay this fee because you have the right to cite (see question: May I cite images or videos? on the page Citing & Plagiarism). When you are requested to pay, you need to write the journal and explain that you have the right to cite and do not have to pay for using copyright protected material. If you have questions, please contact the legal officers of your Science Group.

Does WUR Library have a RightsLink account?

When you are contacted by the Copyright Clearance Center, you sometimes need a RightsLink account to pay your fees. According to Dutch copyright law, you do not have to pay a fee for using copyrighted materials in your publication (see question above: what should I do when I am asked to pay for the use of copyrighted materials by organisations like CCC/RightsLink?). If you still need to log-in at RightsLink, you have to create an account. WUR Library does not have a RightsLink account. If you have further questions about RightsLink, please contact the legal officers of your Science Group. 

What should I do when Copyright Clearance Center or someone else asks permission to use copyrighted materials of WUR authors?

WUR authors may be asked permission to use their publications. The requestor may be the Copyright Clearance Center or another organisation or individual. If you receive a request, please contact the legal officers of your Science Group.

Does WUR have an Open Acess Policy for publishing articles in journals?

WUR aims to publish all its research results Open Access (WUR Open Access policy). If possible, articles with a WUR corresponding author that are published closed access can be made publicly available through the WUR Repository 6 months after publication. This is in line with the VSNU policy on the implementation of Article 25fa of the Dutch Copyright Act (Amendment 'Taverne').

Does WUR have specific guidelines for authorship and citations in publications?

In 2020, WUR revised its guidelines on authorship, affiliations and citations. The guidelines are based on reporting results and assessment and peer review as outlined in the Netherlands Code of Conduct for Research Integrity (2018).

Does WUR have a policy for publishing PhD theses?

WUR PhD theses are normally published open access. However, the thesis can be embargoed for 1 year if articles in the theses still have to be published. If needed, the embargo can be extended. An embargo can also be applied for special interests, such as commercial interests in the case of a patent application. If you would like to have an embargo on your thesis, please e-mail media.library@wur.nl. Note: you need to ask for an embargo, it is not automatically placed on your thesis. For more information, see the WUR Library webpage on publishing parts of your thesis.

Does WUR have a policy for publishing MSc theses?

WUR intends to make publicly available all master theses that receive a final grade of 6 or higher. They should be placed in MSc thesis online. In some cases, WUR may not make a thesis publicly available even though it has a final grade of 6 or higher. If this occurs, the thesis assessment form should explain why the thesis is not publicly available and how long it should not be publicly available.

The thesis agreement or the thesis assessment form should state that the thesis should or should not be made available open access in the WUR repository. WUR is currently revising its policy for publishing MSc theses.

Do I need to consider copyright law when publishing a dataset?

Yes, WUR owns the copyright of all datasets created by its employees. Furthermore, the copyright of students and non-WUR PhD candidates may be transferred to WUR as part of an agreement. WUR research data policy requires that all research data for a scientific publication must be available for at least 10 years. Publishers may also encourage you to publish your dataset. On the Wageningen Data Competence Center Data Management website, you can find more information about Research Data Management and how to publish a dataset. Dutch copyright law does not always allow you to openly share your dataset. If your dataset contains copyrighted material or if the database itself is protected by copyright, you need written permission from the copyright owner to publish this data. See our page on Copyright and Research Data for more information.

After publishing my PhD thesis, may I publish a chapter as a journal article?

If you submit manuscripts (chapters of your PhD thesis) to a journal after your thesis has been submitted and made publicly available through Wageningen University & Research PhD theses, you may receive an e-mail from the publisher that your manuscript cannot be accepted because of plagiarism. To prevent this, you need to place an embargo on your thesis. Please email media.library@wur.nl to request an embargo before you submit your thesis. During the 1-year embargo, your thesis will not be available online and will not appear in plagiarism-detection software. You may also extend the embargo if needed.

After publishing a journal article, may I include this article in my PhD thesis?

During the paper submission process, you may be asked to transfer your copyright to the publisher. If you must transfer all your rights, it is important to retain the right to publish this article as a chapter in your PhD thesis or the right to use this article in education. If you did not arrange this with the journal during the paper submission process, it will  depend on the journal if you may publish the article as a thesis chapter. Please check the publisher’s copyright statement or the contract you have signed to see if you may publish the paper in your thesis. In some cases, you may publish the paper’s post print or pre-print version in your thesis. On the SHERPA/RoMEO website, you can check if you may publish the paper in your PhD thesis.

Last updated on 15/04/2020.