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Copyright when publishing

Basic information on copyright for originators.

This information is factual only and not to be considered legal advice. Contact the university legal advisors at the Vice-Chancellor's office if legal advice is needed.

Vice-Chancellor's Office

Automatic protection

When writing a text to be published as an article, a book, dissertation, essay or report, you are automatically protected by copyright law. There is no formal registration required to get this protection, but the work must have some sort of originality or distinctive character. The work is then protected up to 70 years after the death of its originator. The right to copy pages from copyright protected works is very limited. 

Copyright can be transferred

The basis of copyright is that it belongs to the physical person who is the originator of a body of work. In order to open access to the work or to transfer copyright to another party a clear agreement or contract controlling the specific details needs to be signed. Interpretation of such a contract is restrictive, meaning that only the rights clearly stated by the agreement stand to be affected. It is important to be attentive to the impact on copyright when signing agreements or contracts with publishers. 


If you would like to indicate that your dissertation is protected in accordance with copyright law you may note on the back of the title page: "This work is protected in accordance with the copyright law (1960:729)." This phrase is preferred to using the copyright symbol © which in Sweden lacks legal significance. Please note that copyright owners to various material you have included in your dissertation may have different demands on how they want to be reference. The demands can differ between the printed and the digital version of your dissertation.

Publishing open access

The creator normally retain their copyright when publishing open access, while at the same time making their work available in more ways and to more people. If a Creative Commons licence is used, it is made clear what others may or may not do with the piece of work without asking the creator or any other stakeholder for permission. 

More on: Copyright and open access

Learn more about Creative Commons licences:

Open online course: Creative Commons licences in scholarly publishing

Parallel publishing (Self-archiving)

Most of the scholarly journals allow self-archiving a copy of your article or other publication making it freely available, open access. It is possible to parallel publish in DiVA, the university publication database.

Specific restrictions may apply in the policy of the publishing house regarding where, how and when self-archiving may be allowed. For example, a common restriction is that parallel publishing only can happen after a stipulated amount of time, a so-called embargo period. The version of the publication allowed to share may also be regulated.

Feel free to contact the library with questions about parallel publishing and open access publishing in general. Choose the option "Publishing, theses and research data" in the contact form.

More on: Parallel publishing

More on: Open access

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Images and Maps

Maps, images, photographs as well as illustrations are protected by copyright law and need permission to be used.


Images that can be accessed through image archives provided by the library have user licenses, but you need to check if they are consistent with what you plan to do with the pictures.

The organisation Bildupphovsrätt represent Swedish and International visual artists. Contact Bildupphovsrätt if artistic material or images of artistic material is intended to be used. It is always an option to contact the originator or publisher as well. Always indicate the context of use and the intended channel for publication. Read more on the use of artistic works on the Bildupphovsrätt webpage.


Maps and databases of geographical information is protected by copyright law (1960:729), including both print and electronic materials. If maps are to be used in a publication permission needs to be granted by the originator or the owner of copyright. Exceptions are made for older maps where the copyright no longer applies.

Maps in theses

If maps are used in a thesis the holder of the copyright is named, for example on the back of the title leaf. Naturally the holder of copyright need be contacted for permission of use.

Maps owned by the Swedish state

Maps owned by the state is administered by Lantmäteriet. These maps are available open access under a CC0 license. Name Lantmäteriet as source for the material.

Legal Text

Copyright is regulated in the copyright law (1960:729). Additional clauses may be found in upphovsrättsförordningen (1993:1212) and internationella upphovsrättsförordningen (1994:193).

More about copyright 

Latest update: 2023-06-02