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There are two major copyright considerations. If you are submitting an article that has previously been published OR if you are submitting data that has restrictions placed upon it, the author is probably not the rightsholder. If this is the case, the author will need to do a little extra research before depositing into IUSW. 

Generally, copyright transfers over to a publisher upon publication of an article. If the work you want to deposit has been published before 2000, you will need to check with the publisher prior to depositing it. Not sure how to go about this? We have some suggestions.

  1. Your first step is to search SHERPA/RoMEO, a freely available online database of publisher copyright policies. Simply type in the name of your journal and you should receive information on what you can submit to an institutional repository such as IUSW. (For those new to S/R, this helpful video should clarify the search process and terminology.)
  2. If you cannot find information through SHERPA/RoMEO, you will want to check to see if the journal has a website. If so, copyright information may be located there.
  3. The final way to check copyright of an article is to contact the editor of the journal--not the publisher, which usually oversees many journals. It is helpful for the author of the work in question to write the message. We've found that this usually helps expedite the process. You can use a format like this sample letter to the editor. 

After completing these steps, you should now know what exactly can be deposited into IUSW: pre-print, post-print, or the publisher's version of your article.



  • The pre-print version of an article is the author's version that has not been peer-reviewed, nor had any value added to it (such as formatting or copy editing).


  • The post-print version incorporates all changes made during the peer review process, but prior to the final published version.

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