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Scholarly Communication

An exploration of issues relating to scholarly communication and open access.

Author Rights

Introduction to Author's Rights

When your article is reviewed and accepted for publication, you will be asked to sign a standard agreement that often transfers most, or all of your rights to the publisher. This means that you are no longer the copyright holder for your work and, depending on your contract with the publisher, your attempts to share your own work with colleagues and students, in print or electronic formats, may be infringing.

You as the author have the following rights until you transfer the copyright in a signed agreement:

    •    The exclusive rights of reproduction
    •    Distribution
    •    Public performance
    •    Public display
    •    Modification of the original work.

Decisions concerning use of the work, such as distribution, access, pricing, updates, and any use restrictions belong to the copyright holder. Authors who have transferred their copyright without retaining any rights may not be able to place the work on course Web sites, copy it for students or colleagues, deposit the work in a university's institutional repository or public online archive, or reuse portions in a subsequent work. That is why it is important to retain the rights you need. You can transfer copyright while holding back rights for yourself and others.

Addendum & License: Examples