What authors can do to retain their copyright

The SURF foundation has produced a short film (2,5 minutes) which explains why and how an author can retain his or her copyright. Watch the film (Dutch only).

There are a number of rights which are useful to maintain if you are going to publish:

  • the right to reuse an article in a book;
  • the right to rewrite and adapt an article;
  • the right to distribute the article among peers;
  • the right to make copies of the article for teaching purposes;
  • the right to include an article in a repository, such Repub (the scientific publications of the EUR).


Licences help you to retain your copyright and because of this you will be able to make your work available online. Different organisations in different countries have formulated a number of good licences for authors. The licences found below can be used when you are negotiating an agreement with your publisher.

  • The SURF foundation has created a Copyright Toolbox, which contains the Licence to Publish. This licence to publish was formulated to be an unambiguous licence for authors. If the author offers this licence to the publisher, instead of signing the publisher's licence, he or she can be sure no unnecessary copyright parts are being transferred.

Default letters

  • This letter to a publisher (pdf) has been formulated by Tilburg University to request permission to add an earlier publication to the institutional repository.
  • For doctoral candidates, this text (pdf) is used by the Leiden University to request permission to add a publication to the institutional repository. Note: this text is specifically aimed at doctoral candidates.
  • Open Access Leiden has also formulated a default text to your co-author(s) (pdf) to request their permission for adding your publication to the repository. You can use the information provided in this pdf in your own letter.