Scientific publishing: good to know…

The rights on a scientific publication (e.g. an article in a scientific journal) are assigned in a contract that the author signs with the publisher. In most cases, the contract transfers all patrimonial rights exclusively to the editor

Therefore, the author gives up the right to copy and distribute his or her publication in full without the explicit authorization of the editor. It is possible, and often necessary, to negociate details regarding this point prior to publication. If a doctoral student wishes to include entire articles in his or her thesis, the editor must be notified as early as possible.

As a signatory of the Declaration of Berlin, EPFL is committed to promoting Open Access and encourages its researchers to make their publications available on Infoscience

PhD thesis

PhD theses accepted by a jury must be published in full (Ordonnance sur le doctorat délivré par l’EPFL, 2008, art. 19).

The Directive concerning doctoral studies at EPFL states that doctoral students hold the copyright on their work.

  1.  Doctoral students are considered authors of their theses, as outlined in copyright law. According to par. 2, they hold all rights that follow from the copyright. 
  2. EPFL has the non-exclusive right to use all or part of doctoral theses to increase the visibility of their contents if it supported the doctoral students by financing their work or by providing them with logistical support. 

(translated from Ordonnance sur le doctorat à l’EPFL, 2008, art. 25)

It follows that the author may publish his thesis with a publisher. EPFL reserves the right to non-exclusively distribute the thesis in accordance with the conditions outlined on the EPFL library website. 

The thesis is systematically made available

  •   at the EPFL library (hard copy)
  •  on Infoscience (soft copy)

If results were obtained in the context of a project funded by a third party, the PhD student must consider any potential contractual clauses agreed upon with the third party before deciding to publish them.