Skip to Main Content
university logo

University Library

ScholarWorks @ Cal State LA

Increase the Visibility of Your Scholarly Publications and Research!

Copyright Requirements for ScholarWorks

In order for your work to be considered for inclusion in ScholarWorks, at least one of the following criteria must be met:

  • You own the copyright to your work.


  • You have obtained written permission from the copyright holder allowing your work to be preserved and disseminated (aka "self-archived") in an institutional repository.

If you are unsure whether your work meets the above requirements, the information below can help get you started in determining what rights you have to your publications.

Understanding Your Rights

Assigning your rights matters: Normally, the copyright holder possesses the exclusive rights of reproduction, distribution, public performance, public display, and modification of the original work. Unless you transfer the copyright to someone else in a signed agreement, as the author of a work you are the copyright holder. An author who has transferred copyright without retaining these rights must ask permission unless the use is one of the statutory exemptions in copyright law.  

Transferring copyright to publishers doesn’t have to be all or nothing:  The law allows you to transfer copyright while holding back rights for yourself and others! 

See the links below to resources that can help you retain rights to your work!

Finding Publisher Copyright and Self-Archiving Policies

Image result for sherparomeo

In addition to impact and cost-effectiveness, other factors to consider when choosing a publisher include the publisher's copyright and archiving policies. A consortium of UK academic institutions has developed the Sherpa/Romeo database.You may use this database to find a summary of permissions that are typically given as part of each publisher's copyright transfer agreement. Use this as a baseline from which to negotiate with the publisher for greater control over your scholarship.


1. Search for your journal's copyright policy using the SherpaRomeo page.


Sherpa/Romeo Search Screen


2. You can check if your publisher allows you to archive your article into your institutional repository.


Sherpa/Romeo American Journal of Sociology Results Page

Pre-Print, Post-Print, and Publisher's Manuscripts

The pre-print is the author’s manuscript version of the publication that has been submitted to a journal for consideration for publication. If published in a peer-reviewed publication, the pre-print does not reflect any revisions made during the peer-review process.



The post-print is the author’s final manuscript of the publication, which is submitted to the publisher for publication. If published in a peer-reviewed publication, the post-print contains all revisions made during the peer-review process. It does not, however, reflect any layout or copy editing done by the publisher in preparation for publication.


The published version is the final version of the article produced by the publisher. When dealing with hard-copy publications, this is the printed version found in books, proceedings and journals. In the digital environment, the published version is usually a PDF available through the publisher’s Web site or through article databases (although for some online publications, the published version may be in HTML or other file formats).



Definitions taken from Inefuku, H. (2013) Pre-Print, Post-Print or Offprint? A guide to publication versions, permissions and the digital repository

Retrieved from

John F. Kennedy Memorial Library
California State University, Los Angeles
5151 State University Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90032-8300