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Open access publishing agreements

Understanding your rights

Creative Commons licences for journal articles

Creative Commons (CC) licences allow you to publish your articles open access while also clearly communicating the allowed rights and permissions with everyone. 

Applying a CC licence to your work does not affect others’ rights to cite your work or any UOW policies on plagiarism. All CC licences require attribution.

The least restrictive licence is a CC BY licence, and the terms -SA, -NC or -ND can be added to the CC BY licence to produce five other licences.

Attribution Share alike Non-commercial No derivatives
Requires attribution and a link back to the original whenever the material is used and shared Requires adaptations of the material to be released under the same licence Prohibits commercial use of the material Prohibits the sharing of adaptions of the material
Example: allows anyone to repost of modify your article in any medium for any purpose Example: a figure modified from your article must also be published under the same CC licence Example: the article cannot be reprinted in a textbook being sold commercially Example: the article cannot be translated into another language

If you retain the copyright in your work, you can grant additional permissions on an individual basis. 

This section has been adapted from 'How open is your preprint? Licensing diagram – V2019-08-04' (ASAPbio), shared under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence.

For more information, see the Guide to Creative Commons for scholarly publications and educational resources.


Publishing agreements

Publishing agreements vary by publisher and may vary by the selected CC licence. When you sign a publishing agreement as the copyright holder, it is important to understand the rights you are retaining and the rights you are granting to the publisher. 

For more information, see the University of Melbourne guide on Understanding publishing agreements.



If you are publishing an article with co-authors, eligibility for the Read & Publish agreements is based on the corresponding author’s affiliation. If you are co-authoring with a researcher at another Australian institution who will be the corresponding author, they may also have R&P agreements through their institution.

The corresponding author is responsible for obtaining their co-authors’ consent to submit the work for publication, select the CC licence and sign the copyright agreement on their behalf.


Further information & support

Author agreements, rights retention and licensing options can be confusing.