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Licensing Options

Unless the work is already subject to another copyright license, submitters have the opportunity to define how their submission can be used through a Creative Commons license, standard Canadian copyright, or by releasing their work to the public domain.

1. Creative Commons (recommended)

A Creative Commons license identifies you as the author/creator of your work and lets you define how others may reuses, share, or adapt your work.

2. Standard copyright

This option means permitted uses are determined by standard Canadian copyright legislation.

3. CC0 (public domain)

A Creative Commons Universal Public Domain Dedication (CC0 1.0 Universal) is a "no rights reserved" license what waives (forfeits) your copyrights worldwide, immediately releasing your work into the public domain. 

Why do we recommend a Creative Commons license?

A Creative Commons license is a a simple, standardized way to define the permissions for how your work is used and shared. The license defines how your work can be used, shared, adapted, and protected. The idea is that by defining these terms in advance you increase access to your submission and make them available for use in research and public engagement. 

As per repository terms of use, works deposited on behalf of users will be subject to a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) license, unless another copyright license is already assigned to that item or is requested at the time of submission.

Maintain Your Author Rights

Those submitting research to a journal, monograph, or other publication are encouraged to maintain their author rights and copyright over their work. This can be determined by the publishers terms, or through the use of an author's addendum. Start by consulting the author rights information curated by the Canadian Association of Research Libraries, then contact your subject specialist for more details.

General Copyright Considerations

Generally submitting your work to the repository does not impact the copyright status of the work itself since copyright to submitted works remains with the copyright holder. As with other forms of publishing, it is the primary responsibility of the submitter to ensure you have permission to submit, including permission to use accompanying works, images, tables, figures, recordings, or any other third-party material that has been incorporated into a work. MRU community members may consult with the Copyright Advisor to discuss and clarify permissions in cases where the ownership of copyright is unclear.


Ideally submitters should consult their author publication agreements to determine who holds the copyright and and rules or restrictions around archiving in the repository. These should be provided to the author by the journal/publisher. SHERPA/RoMEO is a useful lookup tool providing a database of journal publishers’ copyright agreements.

For published articles, generally these restrictions will apply to different versions of an article:

  • Pre-print usually refers to the original manuscript before any peer review and revisions. 
  • Post-print usually refers to the final peer-reviewed and revised manuscript, but not the publisher’s version (e.g., before copyediting, layout, formatting, etc.).
  • Final version or version of record usually refers to the published version of the manuscript, as it appeared in print or online.


There is no central search tool to lookup book publishers’ agreements, so submitters should consult their own publication agreements to determine if archiving in the repository is possible. In some cases it may be necessary to contact the publisher directly to obtain appropriate permissions. The Library can help with this.


Copyright permissions for multimedia vary greatly, particularly if they also incorporate third-party audio or visual works. We recommend ensuring that all elements of your multimedia have clear copyright permissions before submitting. The Copyright Advisor can provide guidance.

Embargoes & Access Permissions

In some cases submissions may be restricted from public access due to publisher embargo, privacy protection, copyright concerns, or the express wishes of the copyright holder. Please contact us to setup embargoes or access restrictions on your submissions.

Third-party Copyright Permissions

You may need to secure or confirm permissions for items being submitted. These permissions should ideally be in writing or be available for independent review by the university Copyright Advisor. The most common scenarios for this are when:

  • The work being submitted has been co-authored or co-created with colleagues. Submitters should obtain permission from all co-authors when archiving works in the repository.
  • The work has been previously published or is subject to a previous copyright or licensing agreement. Publishing agreement and other licenses may restrict or alter the rights of the creator(s) to share their materials through the repository. Consult these agreements to determine if submitting is restricted. When submitting previously published articles we strongly encourage you to use the Sherpa/RoMEO tool to find and consult any publishers policies regarding copyright and self-archiving of your work. You can also contact your subject specialist for assistance.
  • Works that incorporate third-party materials which may take the form of, but are not limited to, images, audio and video recordings, tables, graphs, charts, or other borrowed works.

General information on copyright at Mount Royal University can be found online here. You may contact the University Copyright Advisor at