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Open Access: Author Rights

This is a guide to issues in open access, author rights, copyright, open licensing, and scholarly communication.

Resources about Author Rights

Author Rights

The Author Rights page from SPARC states:

"When you decide to publish an article in a peer-reviewed journal, you own the full copyrights to that article. If you publish in an open access journal, you retain your full copyrights. However, if you choose to publish in a traditional subscription access journal, you will be required to sign a form transferring some – or all – of your copyrights to that publisher.

That doesn’t have to be the end of the story. When you sign a copyright transfer form, you can decide which rights you want to keep, and which you want to give away. Understanding the effect of fully exercising the rights you have as an author can help you make educated choices about the publishing outlets you choose to submit work to..."

For more information about author rights, view this short video from the University of Minnesota Libraries.  The Author Rights & the SPARC Author Addendum page provides a wealth of resources on this topic. 

Know Your Rights: Who Really Owns Your Scholarly Works?

A panel discussion about how authors can manage the copyright of their scholarly works.

Bargaining for Better Publication Agreements

A discussion of issues and strategies for securing publishing agreements that respect your scholarly works.

Journal's Copyright Policies

How to find out a journal's copyright policies and the author's rights:

  • Refer to the journal's publishing or copyright transfer agreement
  • Look up the journal's copyright policies using SHERPA/RoMEO
  • Search for the journal's policies on its Web site

Authors Alliance

Authors Alliance was founded in 2014 to raise awareness of authors' rights and to "promotes authorship for the public good."  It focuses its efforts on four issues:

  1. Managing authors' rights
  2. Authorship law & policy
  3. Reaching audiences
  4. Authorial reputation & integrity

It offers an FAQ on the basics of authorship and ownership under U.S. copyright law.  It has also produced a series of online resources about various aspects of author rights.  Last but not least, it has released a document with proposed principles for copyright reform

Below are the latest posts on the Authors Alliance Blog:

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