This guide has been updated and incorporated into the "Publishing Your Research" guide (link below). Update your bookmarks! This guide will be removed August 31, 2020.
After you publish your work in a journal, do you still own the copyright to your paper?
Can you send a colleague a copy of your work through email?
You'd like to use a chart or graphic from your paper in a presentation, are you allowed to do that?
Are you allowed to post a copy of your paper on your own website? institutional repository? Academia.edu/ResearchGate?
Many authors of scholarly articles may not realize it, but some journals may require that you transfer your copyright (not just of the PDF final version, but sometimes to the drafts of the article as well) to the publisher upon publication. Signing away your copyright often prevents authors from making freely available copies of their own work.
Copyright describes a bundle of rights. This bundle of rights includes the right to:
Author rights apply to your original works of authorship, whether you are faculty, staff or student
Author rights allow you to:
Author rights are inheritable, separable, and assignable
After copyright expires, the work becomes part of the public domain and may be freely copied and shared. Copyright in publications with multiple authors lasts until December 31 of the 50th year after the last author dies.
Copyright and publishing doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Copyright transfer agreements and licenses are NEGOTIABLE. The law allows you to transfer copyright while holding back rights for yourself and others.
Most publishers are willing to discuss copyright agreements with authors to enable them to meet the terms of funders' open access policies and to retain other rights.
What is needed is a balanced approach to copyright.
Retain the rights you want
Obtain a non-exclusive right to publish and distribute a work and receive a financial return
Use and develop your own work without restriction
Receive proper attribution and citation as journal of first publication
Increase access for education and research
Migrate the work to future formats and include it in collections
Receive proper attribution when your work is used
If you choose, deposit your work in an open online archive where it will be permanently and openly accessible
Publishing your work
Publishers do this through:
This agreement may grant the publisher copyright to your work and might affect subsequent permitted uses and re-uses of your work.
Read through the agreement CAREFULLY and understand what it is that you are signing.
Each publisher has their own contract and language. It is vital that you understand what you are allowed to do with your work - now and into the future.
Sample license from Taylor & Francis state that:
Contracts are not written in stone. They are a dialogue between you and the publisher. If there are clauses that you don't agree to - cross them out and initial the change to the document. Consider appending the SPARC Addendum to your contract.
Open Access: the users’ rights consist of “a free, irrevocable, worldwide, perpetual right of access to, and a license to copy, use, distribute, transmit and display the work publicly and to make and distribute derivative works, in any digital medium for any responsible purpose,” as well as “the right to make small numbers of printed copies for their personal use.”
Open Access Repositories
Not all repositories are open access repositories.
Licensing content to academic social networking site:
When you sign up for academic social networking sites, you are granting to them very important rights to your work. It is critical to consult your publishing agreement prior to uploading a text on academic social networking sites such as ResearchGate or Academia.edu because different publishers allow different versions of academic papers to be uploaded to repositories and author websites: the author’s pre-print, the author’s accepted version, or the published version.
If publishers become aware that an incorrect version is being shared or an embargo is not applied then they are likely to issue take down notices or even sue authors for breach of copyright.
Academic.edu License, as of Oct. 26, 2016
We may, in our sole discretion, permit Members to post, upload, publish, submit or transmit Member Content. By making any Member Content available through the Site or Services, you hereby grant to Academia.edu a worldwide, non-exclusive, transferable, sublicenseable, perpetual, royalty-free license to reproduce, modify for formatting purposes, prepare derivative works based upon, publicly display, publicly perform, distribute, and otherwise use your Member Content in connection with operating and providing the Services and Content to you and to other Members. Academia.edu does not claim any ownership rights in any Member Content and nothing in these Terms will be deemed to restrict any rights that you may have to use and exploit any Member Content.
SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) Addendum – Canadian edition (http://sparcopen.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/SPARC_Canadian_Author_Addendum-e_0.pdf)
How to use the addendum?
What if the publisher rejects the author addendum?
What if the publisher still says no to the addendum?