Click here to skip to content

The Electronic British Library Journal

Open Access

The eBLJ has always been a free to read journal; however as of 2020 it will become an open access journal through the adoption of Creative Commons licences. The British Library believes that the wider accessibility of publicly funded research, combined with flexible reuse conditions, will raise the social, economic and cultural impact of British Library collections and the valuable research of eBLJ authors.

Practically speaking, this is what it means for authors:

  • Copyright on any article is retained by the author(s)
  • Authors grant the British Library Board a licence to publish the article under a Creative Commons licence and identify itself as the original publisher of the work.

The default licence option that will be offered to authors is a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Licence (CC BY). A CC BY licence allows any users of the article to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format, adapt, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, including commercial activities. A user of the work is obliged to give appropriate credit, provide a link to the licence, and indicate if changes were made to the original material.

The British Library’s mission is to collect and circulate knowledge, supporting greater openness and collaboration in response to changing researcher behaviour. This is why we recommend the CC BY licence. It is also the licence most commonly required by public funders. If you wish to publish under a different Creative Commons licence, please get in touch with the eBLJ editor.

While a Creative Commons licence is applied to your article, this will exclude any third-party material that you have reused in your published work. Third-party material is acceptable in your article if you:

  • have secured the necessary permissions from the copyright owner for reuse in your work
  • provide clear captions for all third-party material clearly acknowledging the source and/ or creator, where relevant the copyright holder and licence terms.

How do these licences help with you promoting your work?

As you are the copyright holder, you are free to promote your work as early as possible. Upon official acceptance of your article by the journal, you will be able to self-archive the accepted manuscript (the version which incorporates peer review changes) on your personal website, institutional or disciplinary repository. You may also wish to add a note about acceptance in the eBLJ. Upon publication, you can replace the accepted manuscript with the final published version. If you promote the article through your blog or social media channels, any user who clicks on the article’s digital object identifier (DOI) will be taken straight to the article landing page. The licence here will be clearly displayed so that users are aware that they can continue to share your work.