Copyright and plagiarism
In most countries of the world, authors enjoy protection of their intellectual property that appears in books, journal articles and parts thereof, such as illustrations, plans, tables and animations. Protected works include literary and scientific works, such as writings, speeches and computer programs. Only personal intellectual creations are protected.
The person who writes one of the aforementioned works is defined as the creator/author. Co-authorship applies if two or more persons create a work together.
Notice of Copyright is printed in general on the verso of the title page of a book or on the header or footer of a journal article. Notice of Copyright provides information regarding the date of first publication of the work and the holder of copyright. Proper notice of copyright helps to protect the integrity of the work and to fight copyright infringement.
Contents of copyright
Moral Rights cover an author’s authority to decide whether his work should be published and whether the published work should bear the author’s name.
Exploitation Rights entitle an author to decide whether copies of the work should be reproduced (Right of Reproduction) and whether these copies should be offered to the public (Right of Distribution). Right of Reproduction is the right to make copies of the work, irrespective of method or number. Right of Distribution is the right to offer to the public the aforementioned produced copies.
Authors are free to publish their work by themselves or transfer the exploitation rights to a publisher; e.g. Springer. In order to be entitled to make use of these rights, the publisher asks the author to sign a publishing agreement granting the publisher the sole right to reproduce, publish, distribute and make available to the public the work in print and electronic format. Authors and the publisher should always define their relationship in a publishing agreement. Springer offers a large variety of such contracts for all kind of works. Authors should contact their Springer publishing editor for more details.
Prerequisite of the transfer of exclusive publishing rights is that the author has not already signed such rights to third parties (e.g. another publisher) and that the work has not heretofore been published in whole or in part.
Consequence of having granted exclusive rights to Springer indicates also that an author agrees not to release with another publisher any publication similar to the work published with Springer.
Authors retain, in addition to uses permitted by law (e.g. U.S. Copyright Law, Section 107, Fair Use; German Copyright Act, Section 51, Fair Dealing) the right to communicate the content of the work to other scientists, to share the work with them in manuscript form, to perform or present the work or to use the content for non-commercial internal and educational purposes.
Limitations on copyright
To the extent required by the purpose, it is permissible to reproduce, distribute and publicly communicate single works that have already been published, included in an independent scientific work in order to clarify their contents. The limits of fair dealing will vary according to special circumstances. Acknowledgement needs to be given to the original source of publication. Omission of a sufficient acknowledgement constitutes an infringement of the copyright of the cited work.
Under certain circumstances, it is permissible to make single copies of a work for private, non-commercial use; e.g. for personal scientific use or for teaching in non-commercial institutions of education. These copies may be neither disseminated nor used for public communication.
Duration of copyright
Copyright is legally valid for a fixed period of time. The length of the period varies depending on the copyright laws of each country. It is usually from 50 to 70 years after the death of the author.
Once this term has expired, however, legal rights to the work also expire. After that, the work becomes part of the public domain and can be used freely.
Scientific Editions which consist of non-copyrighted works (i.e. public domain works) are protected by copyright if they represent the result of scientific analysis and differ in significant manner from previous editions of the works. Copyright protection expires 25 years after publication of the scientific edition.
Photographs are also protected by copyright. Copyright protection expires 50 years after the publication of the photograph.
Inheritance of copyright
Copyright may be transmitted by inheritance. The author’s legal successor shall have the rights enjoyed by the deceased author according to the arrangements of local copyright laws.
Infringement of copyright
Copyright is protected both domestically and internationally according to the laws and treaties of each nation. Nevertheless, copyright infringements often do occur.
Springer takes care of an author’s right and undertakes any necessary steps to protect these rights against infringement by third parties.
Any person or legal entity that infringes on the copyright of a Springer author will be urged to cease and desist from the wrongdoing and provide detailed information about the infringement.
Moreover, destruction of all copies unlawfully manufactured and distributed will be required.
Springer's journals copyright transfer statement
You will be asked to sign the Copyright Transfer Statement (CTS) FOR (NON-Open Access) journal articles online during the MyPublication process.
Springer is a green publisher, as we allow self-archiving, but most importantly we are fully transparent about your rights.
Publishing in a subscription-based journal
By signing the Copyright Transfer Statement you still retain substantial rights, such as self-archiving:
"Authors may self-archive the author’s accepted manuscript of their articles on their own websites. Authors may also deposit this version of the article in any repository, provided it is only made publicly available 12 months after official publication or later. He/ she may not use the publisher's version (the final article), which is posted on SpringerLink and other Springer websites, for the purpose of self-archiving or deposit. Furthermore, the author may only post his/her version provided acknowledgement is given to the original source of publication and a link is inserted to the published article on Springer's website. The link must be provided by inserting the DOI number of the article in the following sentence: “The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/[insert DOI]”."
Prior versions of the article published on non-commercial pre-print servers like arXiv.org can remain on these servers and/or can be updated with the author’s accepted version. The final published version (in PDF or HTML/XML format) cannot be used for this purpose. Acknowledgement needs to be given to the final publication and a link should be inserted to the published article on Springer’s website, by inserting the DOI number of the article in the following sentence: “The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/[insert DOI]”.
When publishing an article in a subscription journal, without open access, authors sign the Copyright Transfer Statement (CTS) which also details Springer’s self-archiving policy.
Publishing open access
If you publish your article open access, the final published version can be archived in institutional or funder repositories and can be made publicly accessible immediately.
For your information: plagiarism prevention with CrossCheck
Springer is a participant of CrossCheck, a multi-publisher plagiarism detection initiative to screen published and submitted content for originality. CrossCheck consists of two products: a database of scholarly publications (CrossCheck) and a web-based tool (iThenticate) to check an authored work against that database.
Various Springer journals use the service to detect instances of overlapping and similar text in submitted manuscripts. Results returned by the software may be used as a criterion for the analysis of the manuscript by the editorial board and may eventually result in a rejection due to plagiarism, duplicate and/or redundant publication.
Contact the author helpdesk
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