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MURAL Institutional Repository Guide

Copyright & licensing

Copyright and MURAL

Most journals and publishers allow you to upload the final, peer-reviewed draft of your article to an Institutional Repository. Every item deposited in MURAL will also be checked to ensure that it has met the requirements of the publisher or journal. 

The Library will always work to ensure no publication will be made available in against your wishes or that contravenes copyright policies

How can I check the copyright before depositing my paper?

If you do not have a copy of the copyright agreement or if the agreement does not address self-archiving (i.e. submitting papers to an institutional repository, like MURAL), you can check the Sherpa Romeo database. This database lists copyright and self-archiving policies for a number of publishers.

If the publisher is not listed on the Sherpa Romeo database, you may be able to find details of the copyright agreement you signed on the publisher's website (often within the section on guidelines or instructions for authors and contributors).

If you do have a copy of the copyright agreement and it appears to forbid submission to a repository, you should bear in mind that the publisher's policy may have changed since the agreement was drawn up and that the change may be retrospective.

It should be noted that, even when copyright is not retained by the author, most publishers allow their authors to self-archive.


Some publishers, notably Elsevier, require papers in green open access repositories to operate an embargo, the length of which can vary across publishers and journals.

There is no need to wait to upload papers to the repository. Library staff will check the journal/publisher’s policy and apply the embargo as a matter of course.

What version of the paper should I submit?

Usually, in order to comply with the publishers' policies, we require the author's post-print or final version. This version of the article comes after the refereeing process, and the text is often identical to the published paper.

  • Pre-print: This is your original draft, prior to peer review and publisher’s corrections. Pre-print versions do not normally meet funder requirements.
  • Post-print: This is your corrected version of the draft, following the peer review process. Also known as the Accepted Manuscript (AM) or Accepted Author Manuscript (AAM). The content is the same as the Publisher's Version (see below), but the layout will be different.
  • Publisher’s Version or Published Journal Article or Version of Record (VoR): This is the final published article.

Have a look at our examples of correct (post-print) and incorrect versions in the box below.

Correct and Incorrect Versions

MU Open Access Policy

Consult the Maynooth University Policy on Open Access here

Can I link to my papers in ResearchGate/

Third-party services like ResearchGate, Mendeley, or enable users to upload their own publications, but this may in fact infringe publishers’ copyright policies, with a call to “take-down” or remove items.

For more information on this, check out a 2013 article in The Chronicle of Higher Education here.

We therefore recommend that you upload your publications to MURAL instead.