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About the Library: Publisher Take-Down Notices

Information Regarding Publisher Take-Down Notices

In publishing a journal article, you may wish to post your article online. You should be aware that publicly posted journal articles may be subject to publisher DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) take-down notices. These notices target online research communities such as Academia.edu, academic institutions, and individual researchers, and typically state that the article(s) in question infringe on copyright and must be taken down.


As a member of the Yale University community, if you happen to receive such a notice, please consider taking the following course of action:

  • Check the publishing agreement that you signed with that publisher to determine if you have, or have not, violated the terms of the agreement. If you cannot locate the original, signed agreement, reply to the publisher asking them to send you a copy of the signed copyright/publishing agreement so that you may confirm what rights you have transferred to them. The publisher may enforce any rights that they hold but it is certainly reasonable to ask them to demonstrate that they do, in fact, hold the rights that they claim.
  •  If needed, replace the article that is the subject of the take-down request with an acceptable version (possibly the preprint or postprint). Use the SHERPA/RoMEO Publisher Copyright Policies & Self-Archiving database to find a summary of permissions that are normally part of each publisher's copyright transfer agreement.
  • SPARC, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, provides information to help authors negotiate their licenses with publishers, including a link to the SPARC Author’s Addendum.

For further information or questions, please contact, Joan Emmet (Yale University Library, Licensing & Copyright Librarian), joan.emmet@yale.edu.

Adapted with permission from McMaster University, Information for Faculty Regarding Elsevier Take-Down Notices.