Legal Aspects

The University Library does not offer legal consultation on open access and copyright issues, but merely provides nonbinding information and assistance in understanding the legal aspects of open access. The information is supplied without liability.

Scientific publications are subject to a variety of legal regulations. Here, we provide information on the most important legal aspects of open access.

Licences are generally applied to open access publications in order to permit use of the publications beyond the scope set by copyright law and to enable a wider dissemination of the publications. Standard licence agreements have become established, in particular the Creative Commons licences.

Author rights, in other words the rights granted to authors, can allow a work that has already been published to be made accessible (e. g. by means of self-archiving, which is often permitted by publishers by default). Furthermore, such rights can be defined by authors in future publishing agreements with the help of contract addenda.

With the secondary publication right, authors are granted an irrevocable right that allows them to make certain scientific contributions publicly accessible in a manuscript version twelve months after the initial publication, though only under certain conditions.

Predatory publishing refers to business practices that offer publishing services for a publishing fee, usually under the pretext of open access, but do not provide these services or provide them only inadequately. Our information is intended to explain the issue and help authors to identify and avoid predatory publishing.