4th March 2021

Registering scientific papers

The need for evidence of creation

Team of scientists and engineers

As with all literary works, copyright will exist in scientific documents from the date that they are first written. It can however be hard to establish solid evidence of the date of your discoveries, theories, observations, etc., particularly if your research is still in progress and is not yet ready to be published.

Often there will be several separate parties working at a problem from different angles, building on the research and results of others. In this situation it can be hard to determine whose work was first, who deserves credit and, of course, in all fields of life there are unscrupulous individuals who are prepared to copy the work of others and pass it off as their own creation.

Registration can help to avoid at least some of this potential conflict. Lodging a copy of your work with the UK Copyright Service establishes an independently verifiable tamper proof evidence record in your name of the exact content of your work as it existed at the point of registration. This is solid evidence of your prior claim on the work and can be produced as evidence to help resolve matters if your rights to the work are disputed.

Read the full "Registering scientific papers" fact sheet here.