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Copyright: Copyright for Researchers

IT Carlow Library's guide to copyright

Why should researchers know about copyright?

As a researcher it is important that you understand copyright and how it affects your research impact.  When you publish, depending on the publisher's policy,  you may have to sign the copyright over to the publisher. This will affect whether you can copy the work, for students for example, or whether you can deposit in a open access repository.

In your own research you must adhere to good copyright practice.

Publishing in an academic journal and copyright

Upon publication of your journal article, depending on the policy of your publisher, you may have to sign the copyright over to them. This affects where you can deposit your work and how it is made available. All researchers need to adhere to good copyright practice and standards.

SHERPA ROMEO is a database which outlines the copyright and open access policies of academic journals.

For more information on the IT Carlow Institutional Repository ( please visit

What can you use in your research

Copyright law applies to all authors. However there is some more caveats when it comes to researchers.

For instance figures can be used under the ICLA license as long as they are not significant overall but highly significant to the passages you are trying to copy. If it is under excluded works you will need to get permission. Depending on your contact with the publisher you may also need to do this for your own previous work because, if you signed over the copyright, you are no longer the copyright holder. So keep this in mind when entering into publishing contracts.

What can you copy?


10% or one chapter from a book, if it does not exceed the 10% threshold of the book as a whole. Full works, for example, full text of a book can not be taken and photocopied, this applies only to one work on one course of study. 

In the case of short stories and poems, the whole work can be copied as long as it is below 10 pages. 

However it must be noted that this only applies to material that the Institute owns, either through owning a copy of the item or a subscription to a database that holds the item. 


In the case of a journal article or periodical online or offline you may copy the full text of one article but only one article from that particular issue of the journal or periodical. 

It is now possible to copy up to 10% of a website page content under the license however this is dependent on the website's policy in relation to this around copying content.   


You can copy illustrations that are in an article or work you have copied using the license before without providing the text.