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Schulich Law Scholars Digital Commons

Schulich Law Scholars is an open access institutional repository for gathering, indexing, storing, and making widely available the scholarly output of the Schulich Law community at Dalhousie University.



Copyright is a bundle of exclusive rights that adhere to an author when they fix a creative expression in a tangible medium (e.g. using a computer to write an article, record a performance on video, capture an image with a camera).

These rights include reproduction, distribution, display, performance and modification of the work. Unless your use of someone else's copyrighted work falls under a specific exemption, you must get permission before using the work.

You can find comprehensive resources through the Dalhousie Copyright Office.

Licenses & Creative Commons

Licenses grant users permissions. They can be for one specific use or negotiated collectively. Licenses sit on top of, rather than replace, copyright.

Creative Commons is a form of licensing that gives users permission to use a creator's work, under conditions of their choice. A work that is under copyright can also have a Creative Commons license.

A creator can apply a Creative Commons license to their copyrighted work. This lets others know that the creator is waiving some default copyright restrictions while requiring compliance with certain terms (such as attribution). Only the CC# license, which dedicates a work to the public domain, removes all terms attached to a work.

See Creative Commons for more information.

Fair Dealing

Fair Dealing permits the limited use of copyright protected material without the risk of infringement and without having to seek the permission of copyright owners, per section 29 of the Copyright Act of Canada. It is intended to provide a balance between the rights of creators and the rights of users.

Read more about Fair Dealing through the Dalhousie Copyright Office.

Work Flow

 Copyright permissions must be established prior to uploading full-text articles and other works to Schulich Law Scholars.

Step 1: Create a bibliography of works for submission.

Step 2: Confirm each submission was created while the author/creator worked or studied at the Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University.

Step 3: For published articles, search Sherpa/RoMEO for copyright policies of the appropriate journals.

Based on user feedback and the growing complexity of scholarly publishing, Sherpa-Romeo retired the former color-coding for publisher permissions in 2020. Romeo now provides text-based guidance on publisher policies pertaining to an author's submitted version of a paper (aka Authors Pre-print), the accepted version of a paper (aka Post-print), and the published version (aka Publisher's version). 

Sherpa/Romeo is an online resource that aggregates publisher and journal open access policies from around the world. As of 2020, Sherpa/Romeo included policy information from over 4,250 publishers.

Step 4: If Sherpa/RoMEO indicates copyright permissions are granted according to journal policies, the approved version of the full-text work may be uploaded to Schulich Law Scholars.

If no information is available in Sherpa/RoMEO, review the journal publisher's website about Open Access posting.  As appropriate, contact the publisher in writing to request permission to self-archive in Schulich Law Scholars. Copies of letters granting copyright approval to post full-text content in Digital Commons must be sent to:

Step 5: If Sherpa/RoMEO, the publisher website, or a letter from the publisher denies copyright permission, the work may not be uploaded to Schulich Law Scholars.

Step 6: For book chapters and conference proceedings, contact the appropriate publisher to request copyright permission. Copies of letters granting copyright approval must be sent to:

Step 7: Once copyright permissions are established, send your work to the Sir James Dunn Law Library and librarians will oversee the addition of new content to ensure consistency in metadata and the location of the original file. 

Additional questions about checking copyrights? Contact for assistance.

Version Definitions

What's what when it comes to determining which version of your peer-reviewed article can be uploaded to Schulich Law Scholars

Author’s Pre-print = Pre-refereed paper, prior to any edits (aka Submitted Version in Romeo)
Post-print = Author's accepted version (i.e. the final draft with all edits post-refereeing; no formatting) 
Publisher's version = Publisher's formatted pdf (i.e. the published version the publisher paid to format).