Copyright law defines a Derivative Work, as a work that is based on (or derived from) one or more already existing works. It is copyrightable if it includes what the copyright law calls an Original Work of Authorship. Derivative Works, also known as “new versions”, include such works as translations and condensations as well as editorial revisions, annotations, and elaborations of existing works.

To be copyrightable, a Derivative Work must be different enough from the original to be regarded as a “new work” or must contain a substantial amount of new material. Making minor changes or additions of little substance to a preexisting work will not qualify the work as a new version for copyright purposes. The new material must be original and copyrightable in itself.

Only the owner of copyright in a work has the right to prepare, or to authorize someone else to create, a new version of that work. The owner is generally the author or someone who has obtained rights from the author.

A Derivative Work that is a Minor Revision does not qualify for a new copyright and should therefore carry the DOI of its Definitive Work or Version of Record and be labeled an Updated Work or revision. A Derivative Work that has a substantial amount of new material is called a Major Revision here, and does qualify for its own copyright, and therefore, a new DOI. The DOI and copyright of the work on which it is based, however, should be explicitly cited. See also: Major Revision and Minor Revision. Also see CrossRef Guidelines for Standard Citations in Author Posting, 3a and 3b.

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A quote saved on Aug. 18, 2014.


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