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Determine, Negotiate, and Retain Your Author Rights

Most publishers' agreements ask that you assign your copyright to the publisher when they publish your work. However, if you transfer your rights to the publisher, you may limit your ability to use and share your work with others and you may need to seek permission from the publisher to make some specific uses of your own work. For example, problems may arise when you or others want to: use your work in a course pack, place copies on print or electronic reserves, post a copy on your website, and distribute a copy to colleagues.

Here are some steps you can take:

Identify publishers and journals that give you more liberal permissions to use your own work:

While the Libraries can't tell you where to publish, we can help you find tools and information to inform your decisions.

Use SHERPA/RoMEO to search by journal title or publisher to find default copyright and self-archiving policies.  Determine what rights to your work you may retain and/or your rights to post and share your work once it's published.

Bear in mind that individual authors may attempt to negotiate exceptions/changes to a publisher's standard policies.

Determine whether your funder has an open access or open data requirement

Use SHERPA/Juliet to find open access policies from over 100 worldwide funding bodies.

Use an author addendum to negotiate and retain author rights to your work:

Authors are encouraged to negotiate and retain the rights to their work. By attaching an addendum to your publishing agreement, you can retain control of your work for purposes such as distributing copies in the course of teaching and research, posting the article on a personal or institutional website, etc.

    Determine what rights you retain (or can acquire) from previous publications.

    Locate, read, and file your past publishing agreements.  If you wish, contact publishers to try to obtain the same rights to your older work that is available for current publications.