copyright policy

Authorship of a scientific article is associated with certain intellectual property rights, protected within the framework of copyright laws. Under the most widespread international agreement, the Berne Convention, copyright in an article automatically belongs to the creator or creators of the article, except for works performed `for hire', in which case the employer or funding body may own the copyright in the work. Often that copyright is formally transferred to the publisher in the case of a scientific article accepted for publication. This allows the publisher to manage permissions and other functions on behalf of the author; the author, however, retains extensive rights of fair use to the original material. Sometimes, however, the author (or the author's employer or funding body) retains copyright, and licenses the publisher to discharge certain specific rights of dissemination and redistribution. Also, especially for the results of government-funded research, copyright is sometimes waived.

Author rights after acceptance

IUCr copyright

Articles for which the authors have transferred copyright to the IUCr carry a statement

© International Union of Crystallography
on their initial page.

Provided that a full bibliographic reference to the article as published in an IUCr journal is made, authors of such articles may, without needing to seek permission from the IUCr:

  • share print or electronic copies of the article with colleagues;
  • use all or part of the article and abstract, without revision or modification, in personal compilations or other publications of their own work;
  • use the article within their employer's institution or company for educational or research purposes, including use in course packs;
  • post an authorised electronic reprint of the article on their own personal website, on their employer's website/repository and on free public servers in their subject area.

Readers of such articles may, without needing to seek permission from the IUCr:

  • save to hard disk a local copy of the article for their personal use;
  • print off one or more copies of individual articles for their personal use (they may not systematically download multiple articles or disseminate copies to third parties);
  • include brief extracts from the article or abstract, or reprint figures and/or tables, without revision or modification, in their own publications so long as the original source is acknowledged and a full bibiographic reference given.

For all other uses, please see the page "Permissions requests".

Open access

Authors of open-access articles will not be asked to transfer copyright to the IUCr, but will instead be asked to agree during article submission to an open-access licence. This licence is a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) Licence, which provides for the re-use of the article in whole or part provided there is attribution for the article.

Supplementary materials and supporting data

It is the practice of IUCr journals to provide free access to all supplementary materials and supporting data files deposited with a published article. Copyright in supplementary materials that represent an author's creative work (e.g. mathematical appendices, extended discussion, additional figures) will follow that of the primary article, i.e. transferred to the IUCr or reserved by the author. Copyright protection is not extended to files of scientific data (e.g. structural data CIFs, structure factors, primary diffraction images), and such data sets may be used for bona fide research purposes within the scientific community so long as proper attribution is given to the source from which they were obtained.

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