Retain your author rights

Congratulations!  Your latest research has been accepted for publication in a prestigious journal, but before you blindly sign the publisher agreement, are you retaining the necessary rights under copyright to reuse your work yourself? Perhaps not. 

You as an author always own the copyright to your text. Copyright consists of two parts: ideal and economic copyright. The ideal right can not be negotiated, but the economic right can be transferred to a publisher, for example. A transfer limits your ability to reuse your work.

Your basic rights as an author include

  • the right to reproduce the work, for example through photocopying
  • the right to prepare derivative works, including translations
  • the right to distribute the work to others via a license, sale or other means
  • the right to display or perform the work publicly
  • the right to let others exercise any of these rights

Questions that you might want to consider before signing a publisher agreement include

  • Would you like to send copies of the article to colleagues?
  • Do you want to post a copy on your course Website or LMS?
  • Do you want to include a copy with your online CV?
  • Do you want to deposit a copy in DiVA or other digital repository?
  • Do you want to publish a translation of the article in another language?
  • Do you want to distribute copies for a conference presentation?
  • Do you want to assign it as a reading to students?
Before publishing, take into account any requirements and policies you imposed by your college, research financiers and publishers.
The publisher's publication agreement governs the rights and conditions regarding the use, dissemination and reuse of your work. Exceptions may be granted according to your wishes.

The SPARC Author Addendum

The easiest way to keep you rights is to use the Author Addendum by SPARC!

This guide provides background information and tools necessary to retain the rights you need to reuse your work.

Video: Produced by the Institute on Scholarly Communication in association with SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition).

Read more about using the Author Addendum

Download the SPARC Author Addendum

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