Authors' right to articles in a PhD dissertation


An academic has published two articles with an international, commercial publisher. The problem is that the researcher has planned to include the articles in a slightly reworded version in his PhD dissertation.

Following the recommendation of a colleague, this person contacts the library via e-mail, asking for advice on how to tackle the problem with the publisher.

The academic researcher has looked at the publisher's copyright policy and discovered that specific permission is required to use the article in a commercial context or for any other form of re-use.  


The library presented examples of author agreements in publisher contracts, which secure certain rights for the author, such as the right to re-use the article in a PhD dissertation that will not be issued commercially. The wordings were taken from SPARC and Science Commons.

In one case, the author was lucky and was given permission by the publisher to use the article in his PhD dissertation.

In the second instance, the author is in the process of signing a publisher contract, after having added an author agreement from SPARC to the contract as an appendix. The publisher has not responded to the SPARC author agreement, but has only granted specific permission to re-use the article in the author's PhD dissertation.  


The academic researcher was happy about receiving input from the library and proposals for standard wordings for obtaining permission from the publisher. He has used the author agreement from SPARC to approach the publisher, although it was not considered by the publisher.


  • 27.02.2013 Oprettet af Lone Jensen