Universiteit Leiden

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Copyright for authors

How to retain your copyright

Different organisations in different countries have formulated a number of good licences for authors. These licences help you to retain your copyright and because of this you will be able to make your work available online. The licences found below can be used when you are negotiating an agreement with your publisher. 

The licences and documents on this page are:

  • Licence to Publish
  • SPARC's author's addendum
  • Default letters to publishers and co-authors


  • The SURF foundation has created model agreements and licenses, among which a Licence to Publish. This licence to publish was formulated to be an unambiguous licence for authors. If an author offers this licence to the publisher, instead of signing the publisher's licence, he or she can be sure no unnecessary copyright parts are being transferred. 
  • SPARC is the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, a collaboration of several universities and organisations in the United States. They have also started a campaign on copyright, Author Rights, and have formulated an addendum that can be added to a publisher's contract, which also ensures the author retains some of his or her rights.

Default letters

  • This letter to a publisher (pdf) has been formulated by Tilburg University to request permission to add an earlier publication to the institutional repository. 
  • For doctoral candidates, this text (pdf) is used to request permission to add a publication to the institutional repository. Note: the text is specifically aimed at doctoral candidates. 
  • Open Access Leiden has also formulated a default text to your co-author(s) (pdf) to request their permission for adding your publication to the repository. You can use the information provided in this pdf in your own letter.
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