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Content, such as a journal article or a thesis, that is available online on an “open access” basis (as opposed to being in the public domain) is under copyright, with the copyright most often retained by the author of the work (as opposed to being signed over to a publisher).  Most often, it is through a Creative Commons license or similar that a range of rights are given to users of the content. In using open access materials, it is important to be aware of what can and cannot be done by a user with respect to a work.  See the section above on Creative Commons licenses for further information. 

In cases where publishers of scholarly journals set policy around copyright with respect to open access availability of journal articles, such policies can usually be found either on the website of the publisher or individual journal, or in the SHERPA/RoMEO database of publisher copyright and self-archiving policies.  For authors who intend to make their articles available in their university’s open access repository (such as LU Zone at Laurentian), it will be important to understand publisher requirements if an author has signed over their copyright to the article publisher.

For more general information on Open Access, especially at Laurentian University, please see our webpage on Open Access.