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Self-Archiving in Digital Commons: Copyright Retention

The purpose of DigitalCommons@UMaine is to provide long-term access to the scholarly and creative output of University of Maine faculty and staff. Consult this suite of tutorial pages to learn how to archive your work.

Copyright Retention

Signing away one's copyright can infringe on the potential impact one's work will have. It is important for researchers and scholars to value their intellectual property rights and protect the future distribution and impact potential of their work. Part of being a respected researcher today is one’s ability to respect and protect one’s own work; to know that it has scholarly value; and to understand the potential scope of its scholarly impact.


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Sherpa/Romeo is an online resource that aggregates publisher and journal open access policies from around the world. As of 2020, Sherpa/Romeo included policy information from over 4,250 publishers.  Search journal titles or ISSNs in Sherpa/RoMEO.

Creative Commons

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Creative Commons enables authors to define terms of use, particularly for digital content. By using copyright notification alone or combining copyright notification with Creative Commons, contributors to open access repositories ensure that their work is legally protected from copyright infringement but may be used as part of a collaborative effort yet to be born.

Open Access for Graduate Students

Electronic Theses & Dissertations

The University of Maine Graduate School provides instructions for Graduate students to submit  theses and dissertations to the Electronic Theses & Dissertations (ETD) collection in DigitalCommons@UMaine. As part of the online upload process, students will be required to read and complete a submission agreement that specifies the level of public access granted to the final work. 

For more information, visit our Theses and Dissertations guide.


Keep Your Copyrights
Columbia Law School website informing U.S. authors and creators why to retain copyrights.

Copyright Basics (pdf format)
United States Copyright Office Circular 1 providing an overview of U.S. Copyright law.

Author's Rights, Tout de Suite by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.
Journal article provides a quick introduction to the key aspects of author's rights.

Author Rights: Using the SPARC Author Addendum
A legal instrument to modify publishers' agreements and allow authors to retain key rights.

Increased Access = Increased Impact

Digital Commons Logo

To upload your work to DigitalCommons@UMaine, contact your Subject Specialist to request access.

Not sure if you want to self-archive? Learn more at Why Archive or contact, 207.581.1692.


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Kimberly Sawtelle
5729 Fogler Library
University of Maine
Orono, ME 04469-5729
Phone: 207-581-1692
Fax: 207-581-1653

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