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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:

Photocopying and Printing

Kopiosto license applies to use copies in the teaching, research and administrative activities of the licensee in Finland and permits the partial copying of works and the printing of digital materials. With the Kopiosto copying license, students, researchers, and staff of educational institutions can also scan printed publications, copy texts and images from open websites unless the copyright owner has prohibited such copying and usage, and distribute materials in digital format in the school’s closed network.

Digital Copying

For research purposes, the digital copying and use of materials in research are 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 Kopiosto copying license’s license terms.

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

Open 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 free online access to research articles. Parallel publishing, a form of open access publishing, means that researchers publish their work also in an open digital repository of their own university. Articles published in printed scientific journals can usually be published in open digital repositories as well. Copyright issues have to be considered in open publishing, especially in parallel publishing.

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 that 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 parallel versions of their articles in the university repository.

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

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

In most cases, information about a publisher’s copyright and parallel publishing policy can be checked at the SHERPA/RoMEO database. In addition, this policy can often be found on the publisher’s website. Permission for parallel publishing can also be asked directly from the publisher.

The original source of publication and the link to the publisher’s version must be mentioned in connection with parallel publishing.

More information, see:

Creative Commons (CC) Licenses

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

Publishing with Creative Commons licenses does not mean giving up copyrights. It means offering the right to use 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.

License Recommendations

Open Science and Research Initiative of the Ministry of Education and Culture (MINEDU) recommends these licenses:

  1. Publications and research data: CC Attribution 4.0

  2. Metadata: CC0

  3. Computer software: MIT Licence

Publications in Social Media

Scientific publications can also be shared in social media such as ResearchGate, and Mendeley.

Sharing the original publications via social media is protected by copyright. Researchers have to take care of copyright issues when sharing the publications through these forums.

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

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