Copyright and Open Access

Copyright and proprietary rights are an obstacle to the inclusion of published scientific papers in open repositories. The author can choose the level of protection of his/her work by Creative Commons and Science Commons licenses. Only the publishers' rights need to be resolved.

Commercial publishers of scientific literature have demanded exclusive rights from authors to publish/disclose their work. This practice prevented further publication and use of the work. Due to the open access movement and the activities of publishing authors, publishers' practices began to change. For example, some mathematician-authors signed the Cost of Knowledge against Elsevier, and the DORA initiative was launched in San Francisco to demand a better way of evaluating scientific results, i.e., to measure not the quantity but the quality of scientific results. In the Czech Republic, Daniel Münich draws attention to this problem in his blog On Evaluation and Funding of Science.

Today, most publishers allow self-archiving in various forms, but some publishers have different policies for their journals. Publishers' policies can be checked through the SHERPA/RoMEO databse.


If the author has not yet signed the license agreement, an addendum can be added to the agreement to request an exception for self-archiving. A sample exemption is available at The addendum according to OpenAIRE rules can be found here.

A more detailed description of copyright issues and the SHERPA/RoMEO service can be found directly on the website and a summary is given in an article by Pavla Rygelová. As SHERPA/RoMEO is mainly focused on the Anglo-American environment, similar databases are being developed in Spain for DULCINEA and Recolecta and in Germany for DINI. Some Czech publishers are listed in SHERPA/RoMEO, but so far there are very few of them, due to the lack of their own open access policy.

If you would like more information about licensing or need assistance with licensing agreements, please contact the library at

Creative Commons license


Use of Creative Commons licenses


All national versions of the CC licenses are available at On this site you can use simple questions to generate the license that is most suitable for you.

The Science Commons License

Science Commons is a Creative Commons spin-off project launched in 2005, focusing on the life sciences and especially medicine. The SC license builds on the CC license and seeks to minimize duplication of research programs, minimize the delay between discovery and publication, remove barriers to sharing research results between institutions, or prevent fragmentation of relevant information resources.

More information about licenses is provided in the article by Lukáš Gruber and the article by Iuridicum Remedium.

Other open content licenses

  • Open Publication License
  • AgainstDRM License
  • GNU Free Documentation License
  • OpenGame License
  • Free ArtLicense