Why retain your rights?

Many publishers create significant barriers for authors who want to reuse or share their work as well as for access to that work by others. Negotiating changes to standard publisher agreements can help authors avoid these obstacles, thus increasing options for authors as well as readership, citation, and impact of the work itself. (Openly available articles have been shown to be more heavily cited)

Publishers routinely change the agreements they ask authors to sign. If you have not secured rights you want as an author, the publisher may alter its practices over time.
Some research funders request or require that work created with their funds be made available openly on the web. Their policies can be reviewed at the “Juliet” site. Other institutions also have open access policies or mandates.

Which rights to retain?

UCR authors are often most interested in retaining rights to:

  • Reuse their work in teaching, future publications, and in all scholarly and professional activities.
  • Post their work on the web (sometimes referred to as “self-archiving”), e.g. in a discipline archive (such as PubMed Central or arXiv), or on a web page.

How to retain rights?

Authors should specify the rights they want to retain, as most publishers do not extend these rights to authors in their standard agreements.

You can always negotiate for further rights within your contract agreement with the publisher. 

If you would like to retain rights to have maximum flexibility in your ability to use your publication in teaching, public access, or other purposes, you can submit an authors' rights addendum, which authors can attach to their publisher agreements.

Which publishers are likely to be flexible about these rights?

Publisher policies and agreements vary considerably. The “Romeo” database offers a convenient summary of many publisher copyright policies & self-archiving. These policies and agreements are usually linked from the author information or article submission section of a journal’s website.

Be aware that publisher policies change over time, and the terms stated on their websites often vary from the terms of their actual agreements, so it is important to read the agreement itself.


*Some content provided by Ellen Duranceau - MIT Libraries / CC BY SA