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Copyright means that the author and/or publisher of material also owns the right to decide how it will be used. You as the owner of the copyright will always need to be asked before the material is reused. State in the publication how you want the material to be used. The author always holds the rights to decide how a text is to be used.

Swedish copyright legislation is applicable for 70 years after the creator is deceased. If you want to use copyright protected material you need to ask the copyright owner for permission. There is often a charge applied for someone who wants to reproduce or share copyrighted material.

Use material of others

You can generally reuse selected parts of other works, such as figures or tables, in a scientific context as long as you include an apparent reference to the original. However, it is often a good idea to double-check if you need to ask for permission from the original publisher. It is important that you send your request well ahead of time and provide sufficient information about your publication to the copyright holder. There is a Permission request template letter that you can use when asking for permission to reuse material. It is an editable document that you can alter before sending your request.

Permission request template letter (261 Kb)

Images and copyright

Artistic works, photographs, illustrations and diagrams have copyright protection disallowing use by someone other than the author without the author’s permission. This protection is governed by the law of copyright for literary and artistic works (SFS 1960 : 729).

Bildupphovsrätt i Sverige represents thousands of Swedish and international artists. If you want to use a picture depicting such work, please contact BUS. In other cases, you may contact the copyright owner, the publisher, or the distributor. Always specify the context in which you wish to use the work as well as where it will be published.

Scientists sometimes need to use images in their research to illustrate their reasoning. Swedish copyright law provides special permission in these cases, making it possible to publish images without asking the copyright owner's permission, and without risk for liability.

Should you not get permission to use a picture in its electronic format, you can omit it and replace it with an explanatory text: "Because of copyright protection, this picture is missing in its electronic format."

Bildupphovsrätt i Sverige

License your material

Any material you create and share with others can be licensed. The license is a message to the reader or the user of the material how they can reuse the material.

It is possible for you to license all material that you produce as an academic such as articles, book chapters, books, other publications (e.g. blog texts, working papers) and teaching material. The license should be clearly visible on the title page or first page of the material you share.

Open Access Licensing

If you want to publish Open Access, you will still own the rights to your work, and you control how it can be used by choosing one of the Creative Commons licenses. These open licenses are administered independently from any publisher and are a crowd-funded and international project. 

All the licenses require that others using your work in any way must give you credit in the way you request, but not in a way that suggests that you endorse them in their use. There must always be a reference and a link to the original.

  • BY – or “attribution” means that anyone who would like to use your work would have to give you attribution for it. Others can copy, distribute, display, perform and modify your work with this license.
  • SA – means “share alike”, and adds a requirement to the above, which is that the work has to be shared with the same terms as the original license.
  • NC – means “non-commercial” and means that the work cannot be distributed for commercial purposes.
  • ND – means “no derivatives” and can be added to the CC-BY license to ensure that the work has to be shared in its original form, without changes.

These four licenses can be combined. The most common is CC-BY, which is the license most of the open access publishers use. 

Using an open license allows for others to continue to build upon your work. And the CC-BY license opens up for text-and-data mining of your work. The licenses are also applicable to the publishing of research data.

You can read more about the open access licenses at the National Library of Sweden website. 

Creative Commons

National Library of Sweden

Publish your material

Material published within Stockholm University

As the author, you have the copyright and the right to make the publication freely available if there is no specific agreement in place prohibiting this.

Articles in scientific journals

You may as the author, as part of a standard contract with the publisher, have limited or signed away your rights enitirely. Most major publishers still allow articles to be made ​​freely available provided that certain conditions are met. If you want to know what applies to the journal where you have published your articles, please visit the journal's publisher's policy in SHERPA/RoMEO. Please also see parallel publishing in DiVA. 

Many publishers may apply an open access fee or article processing charge (APC). As a researcher at Stockholm University you do not necessarily have to pay the APC, with a number of journals and publishers the library will cover the costs.


Parallel publishing in DiVA

Centrally funded and discounted article processing charges

Theses and Dissertations

When you have written a monograph thesis published by your department or a “kappa” in comprehensive theses, you as the author own the copyright. The thesis/kappa can be made freely available.

If the monograph thesis is published by publishing houses, you need to contact the publisher and ask for permission to make the thesis freely available.

The agreement made with the respective publisher applies to the other published sections of your thesis. Please contact the publisher with specific enqueries.

Other types of material

Regarding books, anthology contributions, published conference papers, journals and publishers without policies, and reports, you can contact the publisher or the distributor and ask for permission to make the material freely available.

Book publishing is not as standardised and requires you as an author to consider a lot of parameters before signing a contract with your publisher. Each contract must be designed to protect your rights and at the same time, allows you to use the material for teaching and sharing with colleagues. A short checklist has been created to use during negotiations with publishers.

Checklist Publishing Agreements (312 Kb)

Copyright organisations


More information about copyright

For questions about copyright and open licenses.

Open access: 
For questions about centrally funded and discounted article processing charges for open access.