MANAGE YOUR COPYRIGHT
Check Publishers' Policies
The SHERPA database, maintained by the University of Nottingham, provides an easy way to check publishers' policies on copyright and self-archiving. Before submitting to a particular publisher, we suggest checking here to see how you will be able to use your work before and after publication. For example, can put pre-prints (pre-refeered version) in a publically accessible archive? Can you archive post-prints? Please remember that generic policies can often be individually modified, as outlined above.
As a supplement to the SHERPA database, eprints.org allows you to look up self-archiving policies by journal title rather than by publisher.
Traditionally, publishers require you to sign a standard contract before publication, usually referred to as a "Copyright Transfer Agreement," "Publication Agreement," or "License to Publish." Often, these contracts transfer all of your rights as a bundle to the publisher. One option you have is to unbundle this package to retain certain rights, such as the abilities to post your work to the public Internet or to use your research in a class setting. SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) provides an author's addendum form that you can use to selectively retain certain rights to your work.
Last updated: Wednesday, 05-Jul-2006 08:58:46 CDT
- Copyright Resources for Authors: This SPARC page provides "practical guidance when submitting journal articles", including an addendum to affix to publication agreements, specifying rights you wish to maintain.
- Copyown: A resource on copyright ownership for the higher education community, developed by the University of Maryland and the Association of Research Libraries.
- Reserving Rights of Use in Works Submitted for Publication:
Negotiating Publishing Agreements: From the IUPUI Copyright Management Center, this document provides "simple steps to protect your rights through better contracts with publishers" and sample addenda to attach to publishing agreements.
- "Copyright as Cudgel" by Siva Vaidhyanathan: This article provides an overview of developments in copyright law in the digital era and their potentially chilling effect in academia (from The Chronicle of Higher Education, 2002).