Consulting and requesting publishing permissions

DULCINEA: Permission from Spanish scientific journals.
HELOISE: Permission from French publishers.
OAKListDatabase: Permission from Australian publishers.
Blimunda Project: Permission from Portuguese scientific journals and publishers.
SHERPA-ROMEO:Permission from more than 700 journal publishers.

Publishing policies

Assignment of publishing rights may or may not be exclusive. If the rights are transferred through an exclusive assignment, the author loses all rights to use his/her work (re-use, translation, transmission, etc.) and may therefore only use it in those cases allowed by the applicable current laws (citation, private use, etc.).

An author of a work, as the owner of the moral and exploitation rights, may transmit these exploitation rights (to publishers and producers for instance). It is important that authors retain some of the exploitation rights of their works in order to deposit them in an open access repository, but most authors grant property or exploitation rights (copyright) of their published works to the publishers.

Note that at the present time, more than 65% of scientific publishing houses permit the deposit of some version of the papers (pre-print, post-print, publisher' PDF) (1).

What options are there for non-exclusive copyright assignment?

There are several alternatives to total and exclusive assignment of copyright. Some of these to bear in mind when publishing are given below:

  1. Open access journals (comprehensive list in DOAJ)
  2. Subscription journals that allow self-archiving in open repositories.
  3. Subscription journals that do not require exclusive assignment.
  4. Types of alternative licences and addenda:
  5. Licences:the terms of a contract must be accepted by both signatory parties and therefore both the author and the publisher may modify the contract terms in order to achieve fair assignment of rights:

    Alternative Licence: Use of an alternative licence (Creative Commons or similar). These licences may be used either by authors or publishers to specifically define under which terms the works can be used.

    (1) (1) Bernal, Isabel (2012). Gestión de derechos de autor y permisos de editoriales. CSIC. Unidad de Recursos de Información Científica para la Investigación (URICI), p. 31 [accessed June 9, 2014]. Available at:

  6. Send an email or letter to the editor. Suggested text:

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am writing to you regarding the following paper I authored, which is going to be or has been published by your company:


I request your permission to upload this paper in digital format to the e_Buah institutional repository of the University of Alcalá, under a Creative Commons licence, in order to observe this institution's open access policy and to preserve and distribute documents produced as a result of research conducted at the UAH.
I would be grateful for your support and cooperation in this matter, and look forward to receiving your reply.

Yours faithfully

(Name and signature of the author)

Recommended reading:
COAR. Open access clauses in publishers' licenses. Current state and lessons learned. October 24, 2013. Produced by the Open Access agreements and licenses task force [accessed June 9, 2014]. Available at:

Melero, Reme (2010). Guía práctica sobre los derechos patrimoniales o de explotación (copyright) y su relación con el auto-archivo en repositorios de acceso abierto [accessed June 9, 2014]. Available at: