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Copyright guide

Author reuse permission

Researchers often reuse their published journal articles or book chapters in a new publication later. For example, doctoral students often have content reuse in their doctoral thesis. In this case, you need to clear out the copyright issue about whether and what versions of your article can be reused and republished in the print and electronic (in DHanken) versions of your doctoral dissertation. Usually the publishers decide upon the permission to reuse or republish your articles and the different versions allowed in the print and electronic versions of your doctoral dissertation. The allowed versions may be:

  • pre-print: submitted manuscript, author’s non-peer-reviewed draft.
  • post-print: author's accepted manuscript (AAM), final draft, post-review, the refereed manuscript, the author’s final version of the peer-reviewed article accepted for publication but not yet laid out for publication by the publisher.
  • Proof: often partly with the layout of the journal.
  • Version of Record (VoR): the publisher’s final PDF, the final published version with the layout of the journal.

Many publishers allow you to reuse your contribution without requiring permission from them, but the allowed versions of the content can be different with different publishers. Note that there are also some publishers that do require authors to apply and request for permission to reuse the authors' own materials in another publication. For example, if you wish to reuse your book chapter published in a Taylor & Francis Group book, you need to apply for permission to reuse your book chapter in your doctoral thesis, via, for example, the Copyright Clearance Center (CCC). See Books. Note that when you apply for permission via the CCC, do apply as the author of the content you intend to reuse. 


- With Emerald, you do not need to request for permission from the publisher to reuse your journal article or book chapter in your doctoral thesis. The Author rights page specifies which version of your article you as an Emerald author can include in your dissertation: In the print version of your dissertation, you can use the final PDF version (Version of Record), but for the electronic deposit of your dissertation, you can only use a pre- or post-print (preferably). If your article or chapter has been published open access, the VoR can be included in both print and electronic versions of your doctoral dissertation in accordance with the Creative Commons licence which you chose for your article.


- With  Elsevier, the Permissions page gives the answers to the questions: 

Can I include/use my article in my thesis/dissertation?

Yes. Authors can include their articles in full or in part in a thesis or dissertation for non-commercial purposes.”

And “Can I use material from my Elsevier journal article within my thesis/dissertation?

As an Elsevier journal author, you have the right to Include the article in a thesis or dissertation (provided that this is not to be published commercially) whether in full or in part, subject to proper acknowledgment; see the Copyright page for more information. No written permission from Elsevier is necessary.

This right extends to the posting of your thesis to your university’s repository provided that if you include the published journal article, it is embedded in your thesis and not separately downloadable.”

See also Elsevier author and user rights.


With other major publishers, please visit:

- SAGE’s Author Archiving and Re-Use Guidelines.

- SpringerPermissions.

- Taylor & Francis: Understanding copyright for journal authors.

- Wiley: How to Clear Permissions for a Thesis or Dissertation and Author of Work.


Also note that the original articles should always be cited appropriately with full references in your book or dissertation.

Furthermore, if it is a joint publication, you need to confirm your co-authors' permission for the content reuse and republishing. Please find more information and the Form for reporting contribution of a jointly authored published or completed paper included in a composite PhD thesis on Hanken's page Composite Thesis.

Private use

The normal provisions of the Copyright Act are applied to research regardless of whether it comes to research materials or research results and publications.

If a researcher copies works for personal use, it is considered as private use. If works are copied for a research or student group, it is not regarded as private use but requires permission. Use in a work community is not private use.

More information, see:

- Private use by Pirjo Kontkanen, laywer, University of Helsinki.

- Private Use by Anna Keune, Aalto University.

Photocopying and printing

Kopiosto licence for copying of publications and works at universities and universities of applied sciences applies to using copies in the teaching, research and administrative activities of the licencee in Finland, and permits the partial copying of works and the printing of digital materials. With the Kopiosto copying licence, students, researchers and staff of educational institutions can scan printed publications, copy texts and images from open websites unless the copyright owner has prohibited such copying and usage.

Digital copying

For research purposes, the digital copying and use of materials in research is permitted. Copies made for research purposes may not be used for any other purpose. Publications may be digitally copied for the research group if it is essential for furthering the research. Copies may be made and stored so that they are only available to the research group during the research period. Digital copies made for research purposes may be distributed via email or a secure network, so that they are only available to the research group in question.

More information, see

Copyright and research by Pirjo Kontkanen, laywer, University of Helsinki.

- Copying of publications and works at universities and universities of applied sciences by Kopiosto.

Open access publishing

When the article is written, the copyright belongs to the author, not the university or institution s/he works for, if no other agreement has been made. If the work has several authors, the copyright belongs to all of them.

Open access (OA) means that research publications are made freely accessible on the internet in digital form, which promotes the dissemination of research results both within the scientific community and to the public at large. Readers can read, use, copy, print, and link to the OA publications, all free of charge. There are three main types of open access publishing: gold, hybrid and green open access. Self-archiving, also called green open access, means that a legitimate version of the article is self-archived in a repository, usually an institutional repository (for example, DHanken) or a subject-based repository. Copyright issues have to be considered in open access publishing, especially in green open access. See Which version of the article can I self-archive? in the LibGuide on Open access.

The author can sign away his/her copyrights. This is, however, not advisable at the time of publishing your article. The publisher can offer the author an agreement which transfers all the rights to the publisher. Researches are advised to avoid signing this kind of agreement or contract, and to retain the right to publish self-archived versions of their articles in an institutional repository.

If you are an author of a joint publication, you need to confirm the other authors’ permission for self-archiving the article in the institutional repository. It is advisable that the authors agree on self-archiving already at the writing stage.

An article can include materials, for example, images and graphics, which are under copyright of a third party. Ensure the permission of their usage both in the original publishing platform and in the institutional repository.

In most cases, information about a publisher’s copyright and self-archiving policy can be checked at the SHERPA/RoMEO database. This same policy can often be found on the publisher’s website. Permission for self-archiving can also be asked directly from the publisher.

The original source of publication and the link to publisher’s version should be mentioned in connection with self-archiving. See Give the reference in the self-archived copy.

More information, see:

Creative Commons (CC) licences

Creative Commons (CC) licences are suitable for use in publishing open contents and materials, excluding computer software which has its own licences.

Publishing with Creative Commons licences does not mean giving up copyrights. It means offering part of the rights to the user under certain terms and conditions, which the author defines him- or herself.

More information, see Choosing a CC licence and Frequently asked questions at Creative Commons.

See also Creatives Commons in this LibGuide.

Hanken recommends:

  • CC BY 4.0 licence in publishing scholarly publications. The licence recommendation also applies to theses.
  • CC BY 4.0 license for published datasets when possible. 
  • CC BY 4.0 or CC BY-SA 4.0 in publishing educational resources.

Publications in social media

It is recommended to have various different ways to share the information about your research, such as via social media including ResearchGate,, and Mendeley. Researchers are, however, responsible for any content they upload or share via social media, which is protected by copyright. Check in advance each publisher’s self-archiving policy to see whether you have the necessary right to share a version of your publications through these forums. Publishers often do not allow you to upload a version of your publications, for example, the final published version (Publisher's PDF), in academic social networks. A full reference to the publication, including the DOI link leading to the published version may, however, be distributed in academic social networks.

In most cases, the copyright policy of the publisher can be checked in SHERPA/RoMEO or on the publisher’s website.

To publish an article in an academic social network does not comply with the funder's demand on open access. ResearchGate, and Mendeley are social media, not institutional repositories that generate permanent web addresses. Therefore, self-archive and upload a legitimate version of your publication to Hanken's research database Haris. The self-archived file is permanently preserved in Hanken's institutional repository, DHanken.

See Academic sociala networks in the LibGuide on Open access.

Additional resources

Finnish Copyright Act.

Copyright in teaching by Pirjo Kontkanen, laywer, University of Helsinki.

Art University Copyright Advice by Aalto University.

Copyright by Lappeenranta University of Technology LUT.