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Open Access secondary publications

The secondary publication of scholarly literature on document servers (repositories) is referred to as Green Open Access.

Articles that have already been published can, under certain conditions, additionally be made available in repositories. Institutional repositories such as unipub are digital collections of the scientific output of an institution. They support the findability and dissemination of publications.

For a secondary publication, embargo periods must usually be observed, and the use of the version of record in the publisher's layout is usually not permitted: Usually, only so-called pre-prints or post-prints (versions before or after the reviewing process) may be published in repositories.

In order to keep the option of a secondary publication of your work, you should save the individual versions of your work and pay attention to the provisions on copyright transfer and exploitation rights in your contract with your publisher.

With the repository unipub, the University of Graz offers its researchers a platform for a secondary publication of their work. The Open Access team of the University Library will assist you in checking the legal conditions of a secondary publication (see Intranet: Secondary Publication at unipub).

Green Open Access

While institutional repositories such as unipub enhance the visibility of a university´s scientific output, subject repositories display publications from a specific research area. In both cases, a secondary publication will lead to more readers, citations and findability and supports documentation and archiving.

Secondary exploitation right

In Austria, the copyright amendment of 2015 implemented a secondary exploitation right for scholarly publications: (Only) Under certain conditions, a secondary publication of research work is now permitted after a period of 12 months without the express permission of the publisher.

Since all exploitation rights for the publication are often conferred to a publisher, some restrictions must be observed: Embargo periods (time lag from first publications) must often be metand the use of the printed version in the publisher's layout is usually not permitted.

The following terms are usually used for the individual manuscript versions:

  •  So-called "pre-prints" are versions of a manuscript that have not yet been reviewed. Since the authors still hold most of the exploitation rights, there are usually no legal obstacles against self-archiving.
  •  Post-prints", on the other hand, are contributions that have already been peer-reviewed and accepted for publication. Not all journals and publishers agree to the self-archiving of post-prints, and many do so only after an embargo period has expired.
  •  The "publisher´s version" is the version of record in the publisher's layout. This version may only rarely be used for a secondary publication.


The provisions of the individual publishers on secondary publication differ considerably, so that a rights clearance is necessary on a case-by-case basis. The SHERPA/Romeo database provides a comprehensive overview of the copyright policies of numerous international journals on secondary exploitation.

Legal certainty

In order to obtain legal certainty from the outset, you should negotiate an amendment for secondary publication in your publishing contract. We will be pleased to help you with suggestions for the wording.


Universitätsplatz 3a 8010 Graz
Lisa Schilhan DW 1436, Christian Kaier DW 1440

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