Copyright and Licensing


When you submit an item to IUScholarWorks, you will be asked to accept our non-exclusive license. This verifies that you hold the copyright to the work (or you have secured the appropriate permission from the rights holder), and gives IU the non-exclusive right to distribute and preserve it.

Depositing Previously Published Works

Copyright on works that have been previously published is typically transferred from author to publisher. However, many publishers still allow authors to deposit their work into institutional repositories. The steps below will help you determine whether or not you can deposit the work in IUScholarWorks.

  1. Check your publishing agreement: If you signed a publication agreement and you still have access to it, review its terms and see what it says about copyright and posting the work online. If the agreement provides for a complete transfer of copyright or an exclusive license, then you should also look for provisions indicating what rights you might retain in your work or for time limits on exclusive licenses. IUScholarWorks staff can provide assistance interpreting publishing agreements.
  2. Check the publisher’s policies: Many publishers post authors' rights policies on their website (generally with the author submission instructions or copyright notices). This is a great place to check if your publication agreement is not clear or not readily at hand. Additionally, a major resource on journal publisher policies is SHERPA/RoMEO. The database covers most major academic publishers, but it is not yet universal. If the database has your publisher, it will indicate to what extent publishers permit authors who have signed publication agreements to post their work online.


  3. Contact the publisher: If you are unsure about your rights to post your work online, or you are not satisfied with those rights, contact the publisher and request permission to deposit your work in IUScholarWorks. The right place to start depends on the publisher—it might be the journal editor, the permissions department of the publisher, or someone in journal production. Contact as many people as needed to find the person with authority over these issues and request permission. IUScholarWorks staff can help you draft letters that clearly convey your request and reasons for it.


Authorizing a Third Party to Deposit Your Work

You may authorize another individual to submit items to IUScholarWorks on your behalf by completing the Proxy Authorization Form. By submitting the authorization, you confirm that:

  • I would like a third party to assist me in submitting materials to IUScholarWorks, Indiana University’s institutional repository.
  • I understand that the submission process involves obtaining a copy of my material, providing descriptive information and/or metadata, and accepting the IUScholarWorks License.
  • This verifies that I have reviewed the IUScholarWorks License and the IUScholarWorks Policies and agree to their terms.