As an author you are the owner of the copyright in your work unless you transfer it someone else. Publishers sometimes ask authors to sign copyright transfer agreements as part of a publication agreement.
Normally, the copyright holder possesses an exclusive right of reproduction, distribution, public performance, public display, and modification of the original work. If you have transferred copyright without retaining these rights, you will have to ask permission to do something with your own work unless it is covered by fair dealing or another exemption. You may not be able to place the work on websites, copy it for students or colleagues, deposit in a repository or reuse portions in subsequent work. You don’t have to transfer your copyright, you can request an amendment be made to a publication agreement.
If you are in receipt of funding from Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) or the European Commission, you are required to retain the copyright of your work and for it to be made available under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license. Standard language is provided here.
Creative Commons Licences
Creative Commons Licences provide a simple and standardized way to give your permission to share and use your work on conditions which you choose. The image below describes the different types of Creative Commons licenses available. Works which are added to TU Dublin’s repository, Arrow, are assigned a CC BY-NC-SA licence by default.
Image: JoKalliauer, available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike Unported 3.0 License
Reproducing images and figures in articles, conference papers and dissertations
You may need to get permission to reproduce images and figures from published research or industry sources. If an article is published with certain creative commons license (not CC BY-ND or CC BY-NC-ND), you may be able to reproduce the material without permission. Otherwise you should get permission from the copyright holder. Many journal websites include a reprints or permission section where you can check whether you can reproduce something or not. In some instances, a copyright holder may wish to charge a fee for reproducing an image so it's always best to check.
SherpaRomeo provides information about journal Open Access policies including the licenses and embargoes applied to different versions of journal articles.