4.1. Legal Framework for Publications on OPUS

Since 1/1/2014, a new secondary publication right (Zweitveröffentlichungsrecht - ZVR) has been anchored in copyright law (§38), which extends the existing options for publication of preprints and postprints in OPUS by an additional one: It gives authors the right to publish certain pieces of work as second publication, even if this right is not stipulated in a publication agreement concluded with the publisher.
In this context, the following conditions are applicable (more detailed information (in German) under „FAQ der Allianz der deutschen Wissenschaftsorganisationen“):
  • 12 months after primary publication, the accepted manuscript version – not the layout created by the publishing house – may be published in a repository. Any contrary agreement to the disadvantage of the author shall be invalid.
  • Only contributions in journals appearing at least twice a year may be published for a second time. This does not apply to contributions from monographs, festschrift, proceedings and the like.
  • The source of the primary publication must be mentioned.
  • The right does not apply retroactively, but only for publications since 2014.
  • All authors must give consent.
  • An additional granting of CC licences is not possible in order to avoid collisions with publishing contracts.

A secondary publication is still possible immediately as long as the publishing house has not contractually been granted an exclusive, but only a simple right of use, or if the publishing house in general permits subsequent use of this type. On this basis, ZIB Reports have already been published in the past. Among other things, all mathematical publishing houses allow preprints and postprints of publications to appear in an institutional repository or on a personal homepage. In particular, this option should be used for proceedings, since the second publication right newly incorporated into copyright law does not apply to proceedings, see above.
If contract conditions are not (or no longer) known to you, you can find the provisions of nearly all publishing houses in the SHERPA/ROMEO-database.