Open Access and Copyright

Open Access and Copyright

Open access

The Journal of L.M. Montgomery Studies aligns with open-access principles as outlined by the Directory of Open-Access Journals (DOAJ). Our goal is to support a greater global exchange of knowledge. 

This is an open-access journal, which means that all content is freely available without charge to the users or their institutions. Users are allowed to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of the articles, or use them for any other lawful purpose without asking prior permission from the publisher or the contributor. This is in accordance with the Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI) definition of open access. The journal's open-access policy is also aligned with funding bodies' current policies. (See the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada's open-access policy here.) 

The journal is committed to quality, peer-reviewed open access. The full text of all journal content is available for free and is open-access without delay (that is, there is no embargo period). We do not require user registration, so users do not need to register to read full text. For print-on-demand versions of the journal, there will be charges (dependent on the particular article clusters that are printed).

The Journal of L.M. Montgomery Studies includes both peer-reviewed and non-peer-reviewed publication types. DOAJ standards require that at least one-third of the content consist of peer-reviewed original research, and this journal will exceed that requirement.

The Journal of L.M. Montgomery Studies is locally hosted on Drupal (a well-known open-source content-management system).


Copyright and Permissions

Please note that this document is subject to change. Watch this space.

Revised: June 2019

Third-Party Material

All material in your submission that you did not create—including material for which permissions are not required, such as material in the public domain or published with a Creative Commons license—must be documented by appropriate citations. (See the journal Style Sheet.) This material includes—but is not limited to—any proprietary text, illustration, table, or other material, including data, audio, video, film stills, screenshots, musical notation, and any supplemental material.

All material published in the Journal of L.M. Montgomery Studies will be licensed by an international Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY-4.0). For more information, see Creative Commons’ description of this license here or the journal's statement on open access above. The journal editors are excited about the possibilities inherent in publishing's move towards open access.

Rights holders of third-party material requiring permissions (e.g., material beyond the substantiality threshold) have the option to have "All Rights Reserved" indicated in relation to their material.

Citations/credit and permissions are not to be confused: permissions may not always be necessary (see below), but citations are!

Below we’ve included some questions to guide you in the use of third-party material in your submission.


1) Do you need to use material—text, images, or other media—created by someone else in your submission?

The following questions (adapted from Western University Libraries Copyright Guide) can help you make this determination:

  • Am I using only what I need in order to serve my purpose or make the argument or give context?

  • Can I make the point using something that I have created?

If you do need to include another’s work in your own submission, please consider the following points:


2) Is the third-party material in the public domain?

The normal term of copyright protection for written texts—defined as “literary works” under Canada’s Copyright Act—extends for fifty years after the life of the creator. After these fifty years, a work enters the “public domain.”

The normal term of copyright protection for previously unpublished texts published pre-1999 extends for 50 years following the end of the calendar year of the original publication. 

Some of the work that L.M. Montgomery created during her lifetime, whether published or unpublished, is in the public domain in Canada: no permissions are required for use of work in the public domain.

Care should be taken when using Montgomery’s works that were published after her death, notably her journals and some of her scrapbooks and correspondence; American readers should also note that some of Montgomery’s novels are still under copyright in the United States of America. (See more below.)

3) Is your use of third-party material substantial?

There is no universal standard on how much of someone else’s writing you can use in your own work without getting permission, but the Copyright Act provides that the amount used must constitute a “substantial portion” before copyright law can be invoked. In a 2015 ruling, the Copyright Board of Canada offered the following guidelines for determining substantiality:

copying events where 2 pages were copied from a work of 80 pages or more, or 1 page was copied from a work of 40 pages or more [i.e., 2.5%], represent copying that was not a substantial amount of the work.

In other words, quoting a short passage—or even several passages—from a longer work, such as a novel, will generally not require permission. Substantiality considerations are harder to apply with other work, especially sound and moving image (film/video) materials, but it seems reasonable to conclude that the 2.5% threshold generally applies here, as well: for example, a clip of not more than one minute from a ninety-minute-plus film, would presumably not be considered substantial. The 2.5% rule applies across a whole single contribution/submission.

Critically, the question of what constitutes a “substantial portion” of a work is a qualitative exercise. The 2.5% rule is intended to be a guideline only, and does not replace the requirement that an author consider the importance of the parts taken from another work and the extent of the originality of the parts taken, together with the extent to which the taking adversely affects the original author’s work and diminishes their copyright. This is not intended to be a comprehensive list and authors are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the applicable laws or seek permission where they are uncertain.

4) How do I obtain permissions?

First, you must identify the copyright holder (e.g., an individual, organization, library, company, etc.). The journal editors can direct you to the copyright holders of various Montgomery materials. Please note that these lists are not comprehensive, and you may require permissions to use material not included in this list (e.g., non-Montgomery-related material).

Second, you must write to the right holder(s) asking formally for permissions. Include this correspondence with your submission. To facilitate this process, we have provided you with template permission requests: here is one directed to institutions, and here is one for other rights holders.

The editorial team ( is happy to assist you in this process. For example, we may be able to assist in the process by helping to identify rights holders, locate contact information, and advise on other general permissions or copyright issues. The editors are best positioned to assist with permissions and right inquiries regarding the types and categories of Montgomery material listed below.

It is the final responsibility of the contributor to secure the required permissions.

Works by L.M. Montgomery

Montgomery novels still under US copyright:

Most of Montgomery’s novels were first published in the United States, and US copyright law has deemed all works published there before 1923 to be public domain. Works published from 1923 to 1963 for which copyright was renewed are protected for 95 years after the original publication date. Please note that the following Montgomery novels will remain under copyright protection in the United States for 95 years from date of publication:

Emily Climbs (1925), The Blue Castle (1926), Emily’s Quest (1927), Magic for Marigold (1929), A Tangled Web (1931), Pat of Silver Bush (1933), Mistress Pat (1935), Anne of Windy Poplars (1936), Jane of Lantern Hill (1937), Anne of Ingleside (1939).

Permission requests for reproduction of these novels in the United States, beyond the extent allowed by fair use, should be directed to the Heirs of L.M. Montgomery Inc. directly at the following email address:

  • Montgomery-related photography

  • Montgomery’s journals

  • Montgomery’s letters

  • Montgomery’s scrapbooks

  • Prefatory and scholarly matter (e.g., introductory essays, explanatory footnotes, etc. published with Montgomery works)

  • Adaptations (works based on Montgomery’s writing, such as stage scripts, screenplays, and musical elements—music, lyrics, and book)

  • Translations

Works by L.M. Montgomery Scholars 

  • Prefatory and scholarly matter (e.g., introductory essays, explanatory footnotes, etc. published with Montgomery works)

  • Adaptations (works based on Montgomery’s writing, such as stage scripts, screenplays, musical elements—music, lyrics, and book)

  • Translations