Kim Braun
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Secondary-Publication Right

Secondary-Publication Right

The so-called secondary-publication right (Zweitveröffentlichungsrecht, § 38(4) German UrhG) allows authors to make the manuscripts of their publications in scientific/scholarly journals freely available on the internet under certain conditions one year after the primary publication. The current understanding is that this applies to articles published after the regulation came into effect in January 2014.


The secondary-publication right applies to articles that were

  • created in the course of research financed at least by 50% with public funds and
  • published in a publication that is published at least twice a year

The secondary-publication right

  • is subject to a twelve-month embargo period,
  • may not serve commercial purposes,
  • requires naming the primary publication's source,
  • refers to the the primary publication's manuscript,
  • is independent of differing agreements to the disadvantage of the author,
  • is most likely only applicable with German publishers.
[BIS intern]   (Changed: 19 Jan 2024)  | 
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