Catalog Home Page


Copyright ownership in a work

Copyright is a bundle of exclusive rights - to copy, communicate, publish, perform, and adapt a work - that come into existence when an original work is given material form.

The author/creator is usually the first copyright owner (this may differ if the work has been made in the course of employment or as a work for hire).

Publishers often make it a condition of their agreements that the author assign copyright ownership in a work to the publisher; this transfers all rights to deal with a work from the author to the publisher.

However, many publishers do allow the author to deposit the 'accepted manuscript' or 'post-print' (that is, the final refereed and edited manuscript) of their paper into an institutional repository; this includes making the version available to end-users.

To check a publisher policies and your self-archiving rights, please see:

For more information about copyright and your work, please see the University's Copyright Matters page.

Managing author rights in future publications

Read any publisher contract/agreement carefully to see if you are expected to assign all copyright in your article, chapter, etc. to the publisher.

Even if the agreement requires the transfer of all copyright in the work to the publisher, you may be able to negotiate with the publisher to keep some of your rights.

The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) provides many resources for authors and publishers interested in Open Access publishing - amongst these is an online author addendum that you can attach to your contract/agreement to specify any rights that you wish to retain - please see here.

Please contact the University Copyright Coordinator for further information about the use of an addendum, or about attaching a Creative Commons license to your work.

Copyright and the Repository

For a work to be made publicly available on the Repository, one of the following conditions must apply:

  • The author retains copyright in the work (note: any co-authors must agree to the deposit); or
  • If copyright ownership was assigned to the publisher of a work:
    • the publication agreement/contract authorises deposit of the work in an institutional repository; or
    • the publisher has a policy that permits deposit of the work in an institutional repository; or
    • subsequent permission to make the work available in the Repository has been given by the publisher; or
    • the publication has a Creative Commons (CC) license.

Repository staff always determine copyright permissions before depositing any material into the Repository.

Please Note: There is no transfer of copyright ownership when a work is made available on the Repository - the copyright owner of a publication still retains all copyright rights.

Copyright information for users

You may download and print a single copy of any work in the Repository for your personal, non-commercial use.

Further use of a work may infringe copyright. If the material is required for any other purpose, you should contact the author or publisher directly; requests for further use cannot be handled by the Repository.

Copyright infringement

If you believe that material on this site is available in a way that infringes copyright, please notify the University Copyright Coordinator using the Notification of Infringement Form.

Further information on copyright can be found on Murdoch University's Copyright website.

Who can I contact with queries?

If you are unsure of the copyright policy relating to a work, please contact the Murdoch University Copyright Coordinator:

Helen Balfour
Phone: +61 (0)8 9360 7491