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I'm in the process of setting up an account on Academia.edu and as you may know there is an area that allows you to add publications. My question is how does this work with a copyright agreement (Springer International Publishing) that I have signed?

For anyone that may have also signed this agreement: going by Section 3 it looks like I can upload a non-Springer formatted copy as long as I cite the Springer link as the final version?

I have heard people mention author copies before, but I'm not sure if this is a real thing or just a myth that's been circulated down the line (where you can host your papers as long as you make a slight change from the published copy).

The form if anyone is interested (direct download): Springer Copyright Form

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    The only thing that matters is the agreement you signed. You should compare what it allows you to do with what you are trying to do and see if they conflict. If you have lingering concerns, you should consult an attorney in your jurisdiction. – Bill Barth Apr 1 '15 at 19:53
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The second paragraph of section 3 is relevant. Academia.edu is not specifically mentioned. If your funder requests that you deposit it on Academia.edu, you can do that. It is not your own website nor that of your department or faculty. The matter reduces to the meaning of "on his/her own website". From the perspective of Academia.edu, you are a user or member (not an owner). You do not have the ownership right of withholding access to the stuff that you have uploaded. They say that they may allow members to post their "content". I suspect, then, if you were to pay a copyright attorney to advise you, that you would be told that it is not "your own website". There's one way to find out (and many ways to find out how unanimous their opinions would be).

Also, romeo is useful but not decisive, and in case romeo is wrong, the language of the agreement is what would be enforced (as I know from experience).

[Addendum]

OTOH Springer has a totally different copyright transfer here. Note that this is for informational purposes only; it does say "any repository (after 12 months)". The message is rather mixed, and presumably has to do with the specific series.

  • Thanks for an informative reply, as for your addendum the case in question is regarding the Lecture Notes in Computer Science series in case anyone views this in the future. – Colin747 Apr 2 '15 at 8:41
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You can check here what you are allowed to do; http://www.sherpa.ac.uk/romeo/

Some springer journals are Romeo Green, and allow you to upload the author post review final draft to an open Access repository 12 months after publication.

With Open Access publications you can do that straight away

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    The general Springer policy as listed on Romeo is that one can post a pre-review version to the arXiv but one must wait a year after publication before posting an post-review update to the arXiv. This is insane, because it means that if you actually obey the policy, you must leave any mistakes uncovered during the review process on the arXiv for well over a year. That's bad scholarship at best. I don't see how anyone could comply with this policy in good faith, nor why one should review for free for a journal that won't let the author share the results of your review with the community. – Corvus Apr 2 '15 at 5:36
  • I do agree this is not the optimum choice, however we are not here to discus the content of the policy, but merely to explain how it works. If this is a great concern of yours, I would suggest publishing Open Access, as this will free you from the restrictions of copyright transfer. – Maarten van Wesel Apr 2 '15 at 5:59
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    For what it is worth, I do publish open access whenever possible, with non-profit societies otherwise, and with for-profit publishers only as a very last resort (or if the journal is named Nature -- we all have our price). I serve as an editor only for open access journals and do not review for commercial publishers. That said, there are other ways around copyright transfer restrictions, even legal ones. In my experience one can simply cross out the offending clauses of the transfer agreement, sign, and return. I've yet to have a publisher object. – Corvus Apr 2 '15 at 6:03

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