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Library - Open Access: Author Rights Resources

Know Your Rights

Know Your Rights as an Author

The SPARC Author Addendum is a legal instrument that you can use to modify your copyright transfer agreements with non-open access journal publishers. It allows you to select which individual rights out of the bundle of copyrights you want to keep, such as:

  • Distributing copies in the course of teaching and research,
  • Posting the article on a personal or institutional Web site, or
  • Creating derivative works.

SHERPA/RoMEO is an online resource that aggregates and analyzes publisher open access policies and provides summaries of self-archiving permissions and conditions of rights given to authors.  Use the SHERPA/RoMEO publisher copyright policies & self-archiving search tool to determine whether the journal in which you are considering publishing will allow you to keep your rights.

Creative Commons provides free, easy-to-use copyright licenses to make a simple and standardized way to give the public permission to share and use your creative work-on conditions of your choice.  

The licenses include options for creators to retain copyright while allowing others to copy, distribute, and make some uses of their work-at least non-commercially.  The licenses also ensures that licensors get the credit for their work they deserve.

Author Rights Explained

Retaining Your Rights

For authors to archive their work in a repository they must retain the appropriate copyright permissions. Authors publishing in traditional journals often relinquish their rights to control the dissemination of and access to their work. Many publishers already have established policies permitting authors to archive their work as a part of their standard publishing agreement. Authors may consult SHERPA/RoMEO to determine a publisher's standard policy for self-archiving.