Intellectual Property

Intellectual property and copyright

Copyright includes moral rights, referring to the recognition of authorship, and economic rights referring to the rights to exploit the works.

If the author grants exclusive exploitation rights to a publisher, he/she loses control over the dissemination and reuse of his/her own work. Therefore, when publishing with a publisher, it is recommended to negotiate in order to maintain minimum rights that allow dissemination in the institutional repository.

If you have any questions or need more information


The new information and communication technologies have given rise to new forms of publication and dissemination, thanks to the ease of reproduction and the speed of communication, so that the paradigm on which intellectual property and, with it, copyright were based has been overtaken by the new context. The inadequacy of the traditional concept of copyright and the instruments for its defense have made it necessary to create new tools adapted to the new scenario that allow the defense of the author’s rights.

What are Copyrights?

Copyright is a set of principles and rules granted to the author for the mere fact of creating a work, published or unpublished. These rights over the work may be moral or economic.


Moral rights include the right to recognition of authorship and the right to the integrity of the work. They are inalienable and non-transferable.

Plagiarism is the most common form of violation of this right.

Patrimonial or operating

They are transferable, i.e., they can be assigned to third parties, and have a time period, generally calculated from the author’s death, after which they become public domain works. They are usually translated into economic rights.

  • Reproduction Implies the direct or indirect, temporary or permanent fixation, by any means or in any form, of any work or part of it, if it allows its communication or the obtaining of copies. Therefore, photocopying, printing, digitizing, changing the support or downloading from the Internet, will imply the reproduction of the work or the corresponding part.
  • Distribution It involves making available to the public the original or copies of the work, in a tangible medium, through sale, rental, lending or any other form, therefore, publication on the Internet does not imply distribution, since there are no physical copies.
  • Public communication The act by which a plurality of persons may have access to the work without prior distribution of copies to each of them. It is not necessary that the user has access to the work, it is enough that it is made available to the public.
  • Transformation Translation, adaptation and any other modification in the form of the work from which a different work is derived.

Assignment of rights: copyright and creative commons

The exploitation or economic rights are transferable and may be assigned to third parties. This assignment may be made to publishers, exclusively or not, or to users.

Assignment to publishers

Assignment to publishers implies the transfer of copyright with the signing of a contract or license between the parties, which must specify the counterparts, term, territory,…

This assignment may be made on an exclusive basis so that the transfer of rights will have a term equal to that of the economic rights (which vary according to the intellectual property legislation in force in each country) and in which the publisher obtains the full exploitation rights of that work.

If the assignment is non-exclusive, we speak of licenses in which the conditions of exploitation of the work are established between the author and the publisher.

Assignment to readers

The assignment to users or readers is done through licenses of use in which the author indicates which rights are reserved and which are assigned. The best known and most used are the Creative Commons licenses, although there are others, and the author can always establish the license in his own terms (indicating in any case which rights are reserved, temporal validity and geographical scope if applicable).

A license is a legal instrument (agreement/contract) that expresses copyright and indicates what can and cannot be done with an intellectual work. Licensing is the power of the author of the work.

Plagiarism and academic honesty

According to the RAE plagiarizing is copying in substance other people’s works, giving them as one’s own. It implies the appropriation of the authorship of a work (or part of it, such as a paragraph or sentence) by not indicating the origin or citing the original source.

It is an infringement of copyright (moral right of authorship) and, even more so in our environment, it is very important to avoid it and to be academically honest.

The Open Access exposes plagiarism because on the Internet it is much easier to detect it, especially in scientific communication, thanks precisely to the open nature of dissemination: the more people specialized in a subject read articles on that subject, the easier it will be to detect misuse. In this respect, we could say that the greater the dissemination, the greater the protection.

There are different situations in which plagiarism is committed, such as not to point out the authorship of the author presenting his ideas as our own or buying a work from a third party signing it as its own. It is worth mentioning theself-plagiarism in which the author presents as unpublished ideas or results that are no more than a recycling of previous works.

We may find that the author has not assimilated or has not known how to summarize the text of a third party, or simply does not know how to use quotations or references. In this case we would speak of unconscious plagiarism. Whether it is due to ignorance or with full awareness of the fact, we will speak of plagiarism.

To avoid plagiarism or academic dishonesty we must reference correctly, using quotation marks if it is an exact quotation and always indicating the source both in the quotation and in the paraphrase.

You should also avoid “making up” quotations, i.e., quoting authors you have not read or attributing ideas or conclusions to authors that do not really correspond to them.

Legislation and resources

Plagiarism is included both in the Intellectual Property Law (art.2 and art.6) and in the Penal Code (art.270.1).

The Universitat Politècnica de València addresses the issue of plagiarism in the paper Scientific integrity policy and best practices in research at the Universitat Politècnica de València identifying it as one of the totally unacceptable scientific malpractices.

The office of Research Integrity of the U.S. health service offers Avoiding plagiarism, self-plagiarism, and other questionable writing practices: A guide to ethical writing. a comprehensive guide to ethical scientific writing and academic honesty to avoid plagiarism, self-plagiarism and other bad practices.

For more information, please consult:

Avoiding plagiarism
To avoid being plagiarized we can include metadata in texts and images or watermarks in the documents. It is also advisable to include the citation of the document in it, which will guarantee a correct citation, while preventing the text from being “orphaned”, i.e., that it reaches the reader out of context, through a search engine, for example, making a correct citation very difficult.

If we are the ones who receive a text for evaluation on the Internet, there are different tools that allow us to detect plagiarism. Here are the best known ones (extracted in part from Plagiarism detection tools compilation).


Copy Scape



Recommendations for authors and publishers

Recommendations for publishers

The editorial policy should be clear, easily found and identifiable. You should check that the information that appears in Sherpa/Romeo is correct. The editor must be very clear about the fundamental concepts of the new scientific publication and the advantages that can be found in Open Access.

Recommendations for authors

One of the main concerns of authors when self-archiving their publications in a repository is related to copyright and whether or not they have permission to make their articles openly available. It is very important that authors maintain their rights and that they analyze very well the type of contract or assignment of rights that they sign with the publisher, as well as choosing the publisher well. We recommend the following sections Choose where to publish y Where not to publish.

Some recommendations to maintain the rights to the works would be:

  • Read contracts/agreements carefully before signing them.
  • Contact the publisher if you feel that the agreement is too restrictive to attempt to negotiate some exceptions.
  • Modifying the agreement signed with the publisher. There are institutions that provide model contracts so that authors can establish the rights they wish to retain over their works. Another possibility is to add a addendum to the contract, specifying which rights are to be retained. There are help tools that provide authors with model contracts or addenda, such as:
  1. Addendum models for research project financing entities.
    • The European Research Council (ERC) recommends (March 2017) the use of a model addendum, optional and complementary, for publication agreements (Copyright Transfer Agreement) with publishers in order to comply with Horizon 2020 embargo periods (based on a similar document for FP7). This model document can be adapted for use in complying with other institutional mandates.
  2. Other models of addenda:
  3. Check the publisher’s copyright policies and open access self-archiving permissions:
    • Actively support journals with more open rights agreements.
    • The self-archiving permissions (in repositories, etc.) allowed by the various publishers can be consulted in the following databases Sherpa/RoMEO y Dulcinea (for Spanish journals) that specify the publisher’s copyright policies and permissions for open access self-archiving.
    • Apply open user licenses, type Creative Commonsto our publications.

Copyright in RiuNet

RiuNet offers authors a channel for the diffusion of their works while respecting all their moral and exploitation copyrights.

Copyright belongs to the author of the work by the mere fact of its creation. The rights of moral content are unrenounceable and inalienable. Those of economic content, or exploitation rights, may be assigned to third parties, as in the case of published works in which the author assigns part or all of his exploitation rights to the publishing house.

Both unpublished and published works can be deposited in RiuNet.

In the case of unpublished works the author simply authorizes the University to disseminate his document through the repository, by signing a contract, but retains all rights to his work, so that it can be published later in any journal, publishing house, etc. There is a possibility that some publishers may only accept previously unpublished works, for this reason it is advisable to know the policy of the publishers where you plan to publish. The policy of most international publishers can be consulted in the Sherpa/Romeo database and that of Spanish publishers in the Dulcinea database.

At the time of self-archiving the document, the author can decide on the subsequent use of his work by those who can consult it on the Internet through a Creative Commons license, or he can maintain the reservation of all his rights.

In the case of works already published before including them in the repository, the author should know the conditions under which he/she has transferred the exploitation rights of his/her work to the publisher. Although most publishers allow the filing of the pre-print (the draft of the text to be published before peer review), it is recommended to consult the following databases Sherpa/Romeo y Dulcinea to learn about the copyright policy of Spanish publishers.

In case of doubt, the author should contact the publisher to know its policy regarding archiving in institutional repositories.

If the work to be deposited has several authors, the procedure will depend on whether the work is a collaborative work The joint result of the work of several authors, in which case it is necessary that all of them authorize its diffusion through RiuNet by signing the contract, or a collective work created under the initiative and coordination of a single person, in which case it is sufficient that the main author authorizes its dissemination in the repository.

Contract models in RiuNet

Framework agreement for the assignment of copyrights of digital works in RiuNet
If you are a member of the UPV you do not need to sign a contract for each deposit, by signing this framework agreement it is valid for each deposit.

Contract for the deposit of doctoral theses.

Authorization for the dissemination of academic papers.

For any questions you can contact us at:

Library and Scientific Documentation. New Technologies Phone 34 96 387 70 85 ext. 78854

Related FAQS

If I publish on the Internet, who protects my rights?

As an author you can use Creative Commons licenses (with which you indicate which rights you reserve) or copyright (reserving all rights). You can see more information in the copyright section.

But am I not facilitating plagiarism?

On the Internet it is much easier to detect plagiarism, especially in scientific communication, thanks precisely to the open nature of dissemination: the more people specialized in a subject read articles on that subject, the easier it will be to detect misuse. In this respect, we could say that the greater the dissemination, the greater the protection.

In the case of RiuNet, the authorship of your works and the permissions you grant are made very clear. Precisely the support of the institution and the wide dissemination that your works will get are a guarantee of authorship that you can invoke at any time.

If I have published my work in a journal, can I deposit it in a repository?

It will depend on what rights you assign to the publisher in the publishing contract or license and what the publisher’s open access policy is. To find out what the publisher does or does not allow you to do, if you do not have a copy of the signed contract, you can consult the database of international publishers. SHERPA-ROMEO or the database of state publishers DULCINEA.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us.

If I have deposited the article in a repository, can I publish it in a journal? And in another repository?

If you publish openly, you keep all the rights to your work, so you can publish it in any other media.

In the case of RiuNet, the author retains all rights of authorship, citation and publication in other channels that do not require exclusivity.

For more information, see the section Deposit documents in RiuNet or contact the Biblioteca responds.

When can I use other people’s material in my own work?

If the material is protected by Creative Commons licenses, we must comply with the restrictions of the license granted.

If it is protected by copyright, the provisions of the Intellectual Property Law in Article 32 regarding “quotations and reviews and illustrations for educational or scientific research purposes” must be followed, which allows the use of other people’s materials under the following conditions:

  • The work is disclosed and has been lawfully obtained.
  • Used by way of quotation or for analysis, commentary or critical judgment and exclusively for teaching or research purposes.
  • The author and source of the work must be clearly indicated.

Can I upload to PoliformaT to share with my students an article, a book chapter or similar, or an isolated plastic or photographic work?

Yes, you can if the following conditions are met:

If you are a UPV teacher and there is no commercial purpose, in the field of formal training you can upload to PoliformaT, without having to ask for permissions, a portion of a work, about 10% of it, equivalent to:

  • A magazine article.
  • A chapter of a book.
  • An isolated plastic or photographic work.

These conditions must be met:

  • That they are works that have already been disclosed.
  • That you have accessed the original work in a lawful manner.
  • That you indicate the authorship of the original work.
  • That you upload them to PoliformaT for teaching or research purposes.
  • Only students, professors or researchers of the university have access.
  • That the work is not about:
    • A musical score.
    • A single-use work such as an exercise book.
    • A compilation of works.

However, we recommend that, whenever possible and whenever the works are on a public website, instead of uploading the works to PoliformaT you upload the link to them. Your students will be able to consult them as long as the UPV has the resources subscribed and they connect within the institutional range of IPs. These links, as well as bibliographic citations, have no usage restriction.

If you need to upload to PoliformaT material not included in these exceptions to the law, for example:

  • Because it is aimed at students outside the scope of formal training, such as material for a MOOC.
  • Because it corresponds to a portion greater than 10%.
  • Because they are exercise books or other single-use materials.
  • Because they are image compilations.
  • because the works are audiovisual, for example, some videos…

In all these cases, you will have to contact CEDRO, VEGAP, or whoever owns the exploitation rights, to obtain permission or a specific license.