Copyright Retention FAQ And Suggested Forms

Copyright Retention FAQ And Suggested Forms

Q: Why should I retain my copyright?
A: More readers, greater impact.

Copyright, when signed over to a publisher, limits your ability to disseminate your work. By retaining your copyright, you can maximize your options for dissemination, thus maximizing your work's potential reach and gaining a wider audience for your scholarship.

Q: How do I retain my rights?
A: Attach an author's addendum to your contract.

Note: An author's addendum is a standardized legal tool that can be used by journal authors to modify publisher copyright transfer agreements. An addendum, signed by both author and publisher, can be attached to your contract and is legally binding (i.e. the amendment "trumps" the Publisher's agreement).

Q: Does UC have a form that recommends how I
     can amend my publication agreement with a
A: Yes, UC recommends an Amendment to
     Publication Agreement.

The Amendment to Publication Agreement is available in Word format.

UC's model amendment was adapted from existing amendments -- also known as addenda -- that are in use or proposed for use by such organizations as MIT, SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, and Science Commons and Creative Commons Scholar's Copyright Project.

Q: Does NIH provide language that could be
     used in a copyright agreement between an
     author or institution and a publisher?
A: Yes, NIH does provide an example of a
     copyright agreement for authors and institutions
     as follows:

"Journal acknowledges that Author retains the right to provide a copy of the final manuscript to the NIH upon acceptance for Journal publication, for public archiving in PubMed Central as soon as possible but no later than 12 months after publication by the Journal."

Note: NIH also suggests that an author's institution or professional society may have developed specific language for this purpose as well. See full NIH comments about copyright retention here.

As more authors opt to attach author's addenda or amendments to their contracts, these addenda will gain wider aacceptance amonth publishers. Better yet, publishers may starts to realize that the license to publish -- rather than a complete copyright transfer -- is all they require. The need for any kind of addendum is likely to diminish over time.

Q: What if the publisher rejects the author
A: If the publisher rejects the addendum, write
     back explaining why it is important to retain
     rights to you own work and that deposit is now
     mandatory by NIH.

You may also register your objection with the journal's editorial board and, if they journal is published by a commercial publisher on behalf of a sodiety, you may write to the society as well.

Note: Faculty and researchers are also encouraged to share their experiences with the Scholarly Communication Office of the UCR Libraries. The University Libraries hopes to maintain a record of publisher behavior if reported by faculty. We may ask faculty permission to post a redacted version of their corrrespondence on copyright amendment/retention problems on a public website.

Other Helpful Author Copyright Retention Resources (Prepared by and courtesy of the UC Berkeley Scholary Communications Office)

Many other universities have recommended that their authors retain their copyright by attaching an addendum to the copyright transfer agreement. MIT has produced a Copyright Amendment Form. Science Commons has produced The Scholars Copyright Addendum Engine, which allows authors to enter basic information about their articles to generate a printable addendum for author publishing agreements.

Complying with the National Institutes of Health Public Access Policy: Copyright Considerations and Options

From SPARC, Science Commons, and the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) . A February 2008 white paper prepared by SPARC, the Science Commons, and ARL to guide to policy making staff in universities and other institutional recipients of NIH support responsible for ensuring compliance with the Public Access Policy.

Resources for Authors
From SPARC. Includes more information about the Copyright Addendum Engine and other practical information for journal authors.

Reshaping Scholarly Communication: Manage Your Intellectual Property
From the UC Office of Scholarly Communication.

Seizing the Moment: Scientists' Authorship Rights in the Digital Age
A 2002 report by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) concludes that "scientists should be more assertive in claiming their intellectual property rights" in order "to increase access to and use of their works."

Taking Back Control: Managing Copyright and Intellectual Property (PDF)
From the UC Berkeley Faculty Conference on Scholarly Publishing, March 2005.

UC Open Access Policy
Currently in the public comment phase, this policy proposes that UC faculty authors of published articles or conference proceedings routinely transfer a non-exclusive copyright to the University. The University will, in turn, make UC research findings available in a publicly accessible repository such as eScholarship.

Last modified: 3/4/2013 12:01 PM by D. Morita

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012
UCR Career Opportunities
Library Job Opportunities

UCR Library Information

Directions / Mailing Addresses
Tomás Rivera Library: (951) 827-3220
Orbach Science Library: (951) 827-3701
Music Library: (951) 827- 3137
Multimedia Library: (951) 827-5606

Related Links


UCR Libraries Facebook UCR Libraries Twitter UCR Libraries YouTube UCR Libraries News UCR Libraries Mobile Website