Which Version of Your Own Work May be Shared, if a Publication Contract is Signed

As the author you possess all rights to your scientific text until you sign a publication contract with which you relinquish some of these rights to the publishers of your text. Your publication contract will probably contain guidelines from the publisher for self-archiving. This will list in detail which version (preprint, postprint or final/published) of your work you are allowed to share as well as restrictions for sharing, such as embargo periods, for example.

If your publication contract does not contain such an explanation, you should look for the guidelines of your publisher on self-archiving. You can also search for your journal in Sherpa Romeo where you will find an overview of the respective conditions for self-archiving. You can find further information sources in our post on Legal Issues for Open Science.

Irrespective of the rights granted to a publisher, in Germany, within the framework of the scientific right of self-archiving, you are allowed to make contributions in a collection that appears periodically at least twice a year, such as a research journal, at least half of which were produced in the course of publicly funded research activities, publicly accessible once again as a second publication after twelve months.


You can find more information about legal issues in connection to Open Access – for Germany, Austria and Switzerland respectively – on the website of open-access.net.