Obtaining permission to deposit in Spiral

The College expects you to respect prior agreements with publishers and only to self-archive your paper in Spiral where permitted - before uploading a paper you must check that you have permission.

To find out, click on Manage full text in the Symplectic details for your paper. Where there is no information follow the guidance below.

If you cannot locate permissions information, request permission using this Spiral permissions letter template (Word). Email your original contact, the permissions department or customer services (if no relevant contact information is available). Keep all correspondence.

Permissions accordion

Published journal articles

If you have your publishing agreement

Look particularly at the "rights retained by authors" section. 

Contact the publisher if information about deposit to an institutional repository is missing or unclear.

If you don't have a copy of the publishing agreement

Check the SHERPA RoMEO Publisher copyright policies and self-archiving database

Look particularly at restrictions (e.g. embargo periods) and conditions (e.g. publisher PDF cannot be used).

Where you see the statement "Must link to publisher version or journal homepage", you don't need to do anything - library staff will add this information to Spiral.

If the summary is unclear, look for information on the publisher’s website (usually found in the "for authors" section under "copyright").

Published conference papers and books

Check your publishing agreement and contact the publisher if information about deposit to an institutional repository is missing or unclear. 

If you intend to publish your paper in a journal, follow the procedure for published journal articles.

Unpublished conference papers

Where no publishing agreement has been signed, you remain the copyright holder of your conference paper and may deposit to Spiral.

If you intend to publish your paper in a journal, check with prospective publishers that depositing to a repository would not be regarded as prior publication. You must also make sure you have permission to include any third party copyright materials.


If your report was written under contract for a commissioning organisation, the rights retained by the author on completion will be detailed in the contract. Where permission is required, contact the commissioning organisation.

When writing a working paper, check whether you, or your department, should be listed as the copyright holder. The Research Office provides information about the College’s Intellectual Property policy.

Software, databases and copyright material with commercial potential

Consult the College’s Intellectual Property policy. The commercialisation process is managed within Imperial's Enterprise division. For further information, including an Inventors Guide, please see the Commercialisation pages.

As a general rule, the College does not exert its right to own copyright in work generated by its employees in the course of their employment. However, there is an exception for copyright protected works arising from research such as computer software, databases or other copyright material with commercial potential.