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ASU Digital Repository

Copyright and the Repository

What can I deposit in the ASU KEEP Digital Repository?

The goal of the Arizona State University KEEP Digital Repository is to share our collections as widely as possible. Deposit in the ASU Digital Repository is governed by U.S. intellectual property rights statutes. Authors retain ownership and copyright of their materials.

ASU Library makes every effort to establish copyright for materials in the ASU KEEP Digital Repository. Copyright may be unclear due to the nature of historic collections, and the absence of explicit information on copyright is no guarantee that materials are in the public domain.

ASU Library makes no express or implied warranty to others who wish to use digital materials with no known copyright. Users are responsible for obtaining permission for materials to be reused. For questions about copyright, trademark or other rights, please contact the ASU Library Scholarly Communications Librarian.

Copyright Status

When considering the copyright status, there are two possible scenarios:

1. Author Owns All Rights

Authors own full copyright to materials and can submit to the ASU KEEP Digital Repository.

2. Publisher Owns Some or All Rights

This occurs when authors sign an agreement with a publisher. Typically, such agreements may transfer some or all rights to the publisher. Publisher copyright policies determine if, and in what form, materials may be submitted to an institutional repository.

A number of publishers allow the post-print article (defined as the post-peer reviewed version of the article that is accepted by the publisher for final publication) to be submitted to an institutional repository. Sherpa/RoMEO provides a list of journal publishers' archiving policies, and uses the following terms to define different versions of a work:

  • Post-print: the final, revised version of an article after peer review but prior to publisher’s formatting.
  • Pre-print: the author’s version of the article before peer review.
  • Publishers PDF: the final, published version of an article.

Contact the ASU Library Scholarly Communications Librarian for assistance with publisher rights and policies.

Unit representatives can contact University Archives,, for guidance about the copyright status of materials created in ASU units.

Graduate Student Theses and Dissertations

Please see the Copyright section of the Graduate Theses and Dissertations page for more information.

Rights and Reuse

The ASU KEEP Digital Repository includes a variety of public domain and copyrighted materials. There are three steps required to ensure repository materials conform to U.S. intellectual property right statutes:

  1. Materials are deposited via a non-exclusive distribution license. See the ASU KEEP Digital Repository Terms of Deposit.
  2. Copyright status of materials is identified in a rights statement.
  3. Reuse permission designate how others can reuse materials found in the repository.

Rights Statement

A rights statement provides information about the copyright status of authored works. Copyright falls into three general categories: Statements for materials that are in copyright. Statements for materials that have no copyright. Statements for materials that have no known copyright. Depositors are asked to identify the copyright status of materials when depositing materials. See for more information.

Reuse Permission

Copyright holders can prescribe how and when others can reuse their materials. Creative Commons licenses provide an international standard which empower creators to give explicit permissions to potential users with guidelines for receiving attribution for their work. Depositors are strongly encouraged to clarify the copyright status of all materials prior to deposit.

The ASU Digital Repository provides six non-commercial reuse licenses.

  1. Creative Commons Attribution
  2. Creative Commons Attribution + NonCommercial
  3. Creative Commons Attribution + ShareAlike
  4. Creative Commons Attribution + NonCommercial + ShareAlike
  5. Creative Commons Attribution + NoDerivatives
  6. Creative Commons Attribution + NonCommercial + NoDerivatives

If you wish to reuse materials from the ASU Digital Repository, you must contact the author or creator for reuse permissions, as directed by the assigned Creative Commons license.

Alternative Designations

The ASU KEEP Digital Repository offers two alternative reuse designations when Creative Commons licenses are not applicable.

  1. Public domain = open access, users may copy, distribute, display and perform the work and make derivative materials and remixes. ASU asks users to provide attribution for ASU Digital Repository materials.

  2. All Rights Reserved = this statement indicates that the copyright holder reserves or holds all the rights provided by copyright law. The statement has no legal effect in any jurisdiction, but the ASU Digital Repository provides this option to clearly identify materials that should not be reused or redistributed without the express consent of the copyright holder. It is important to note that some use of materials with this designation may fall under Fair Use.

ASU Library requests that users of ASU KEEP Digital Repository materials include attribution as a matter of good scholarly practice.

The ASU Library acknowledges the twenty-three Native Nations that have inhabited this land for centuries. Arizona State University's four campuses are located in the Salt River Valley on ancestral territories of Indigenous peoples, including the Akimel O’odham (Pima) and Pee Posh (Maricopa) Indian Communities, whose care and keeping of these lands allows us to be here today. ASU Library acknowledges the sovereignty of these nations and seeks to foster an environment of success and possibility for Native American students and patrons. We are advocates for the incorporation of Indigenous knowledge systems and research methodologies within contemporary library practice. ASU Library welcomes members of the Akimel O’odham and Pee Posh, and all Native nations to the Library.