What is copyright?

Copyright is a type of intellectual property which protects certain sorts of original creative work, including academic articles. Copyright allows the creator of a work to decide whether, and under what conditions, their work may be used, published and distributed by others. As such, it governs how others can use, publish and distribute articles.

How long does copyright last?

Copyright in a work does not last forever. The exact duration of copyright depends on the type of work and can vary between countries. However, for a literary work such as an academic article, the duration is usually life of the author plus 70 years.

There are two primary models journals should consider with regards to copyright:

  • Author retains copyright 
  • Author transfers copyright to the journal 

Additionally, journals need to consider how the articles will be licensed to the reader. That is, what are readers permitted to do with the articles -- can they share them? Translate them? Repost them on their own websites etc.?

Cell and Tissue Journal is published as open access .Typically open access journals will choose one of several Creative Commons' licenses for their journals' content. The Cell and Tissue Journal has chosen CC-BY-NC license. 

  • CC BY-NC: This license allows reusers to distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon the material in any medium or format for noncommercial purposes only, and only so long as attribution is given to the creator. 

It includes the following elements:
BY  – Credit must be given to the creator
NC  – Only noncommercial uses of the work are permitted