You have just published a paper in a scholarly journal. Can you share your work via email? Can you add the publication to your website or to an Institutional repository? Can you reuse this article in a subsequent work? Maybe and maybe not.
As an author you have the following rights:
and the right to control the circumstances in which others may do the above.
IIn addition to the rights above you have moral rights to your work. Moral rights cannot be signed away. You always retain the moral rights to your work. These rights include the:
However, when you sign your publisher's copyright transfer agreement, the terms of the agreement might mean some or all of these rights are transferred to the publisher.
Examples of author rights allowed under publication agreements from well known publishers:
What Can I Do To Protect My Rights?
Publisher copyright transfer agreements often limit the ability of authors to share their work. However, publishers will often agree (and this is becoming increasingly common) to an author's request to retain certain rights such as posting content to a website or institutional repository.
After your article is accepted for publication, but before you sign the contract, verify whether or not the publisher's contract grants you non-commercial copyright for your work. Such permission may be:
To retain some degree of of copyright to their work, it is recommended that authors:.
Review the copyright transfer agreement prior to signing
Consider negotiating changes to the standard publication agreement to retain some rights. An author's copyright addendum provides for an author's "retention of rights" in negotiating with a publisher. At the very least try to retain rights to publish their work electronically when they publish papers. The following links contain information on amending a publication agreement through submitting an addendum:
Help In Retaining Rights
Project RoMeo offers excellent guidelines for scholars interested in self-archiving. Their website provides valuable information on negotiating content agreements with publishers, with a guide to how publishers commonly licence content from scholars http://www.lboro.ac.uk/departments/ls/disresearch/romeo/l
The Creative Commons group offers important information on content licensing for authors http://creativecommons.org/learn/licenses/
The EPrints project publishes extensive information and guidance on self-archiving and open archives, as well as a glossary of terms in this area and links to the most important sites for research http://www.eprints.org/self-faq/
Trinity University's Open Access guide for Faculty provides information for faculty on how to retain non-commercial copyright for scholarly publications and how to submit copies of their publications to Trinity's digital repository.
Click here for a section on retaining your rights that is particularly helpful.
Another very important way to avoid losing your rights as an author is to consider Open Access Publishing.
Open Access is a movement towards free, open and accessible research results, processes and educational resources.
How can I make my work Open Access?
Research granting agencies around the world including Canadian Insitutes of Health Research, the Wellcome Trust in the UK and the National Institutes of Health in the U.S. require grant recipients to make articles openly accessible by publishing their research in open access journals or by depositing their accepted article manuscripts into open digital repositories.
For example, see the CIHR's Policy on Access to Research Outputs:
Publishing in an open access journal is an eligible expense for many funding applications. Some universitieshave created authors funds to help faculty pay the publication costs for open access publishing.
A number of universities are adopting open access policies that encourage and even require faculty to deposit their research articles into the institutions' respective repositories.
Open Access Links
The following are some informative links related to Open Access:
Click here for an Open Education Resources Primer put together by the KPU Library.
Click here for an informative brochure and guide: How OpenIsIt? collaboratively created by SPARC, PLOS and OASPA
Click here for a link to the student driven "RightToResearch" coalition that promotes Open Access.
What is a Creative Commons Licence? Creative Commons licenses are web-based agreements whereby you can release some of the rights you are automatically assigned by copyright. You can specify conditions under which others can copy, distribute, and modify your work provided they give you credit. When you submit your wprl, you have the option to apply a Creative Commons license that will:
A Creative Commons license is entirely optional.
For more information check out the Creative Commons site
and the Creative Commons page on the Library Guide: Open Education Resources Primer
Posting on Open Sites such as Academia.edu or ResearchGate
Posting a published article, (especially the publisher pdf version) to ResearchGate or Academia.edu could be a violation of copyright if the author/creator has transferred the copyright to the publisher and the publisher has not given permission for this type of activity.
Many publishers allow the posting of a postprint version but are less likely to allow the publisher PDF.
Publisher conditions can be determined by searching SHERPA/RoMEO.
Click here for an interesting FAQ on copyright and posting to ResearchGate (not specifically Canadian Law) but the cautions are still applicable.
Some more cautionary info on posting your research to ResearchGate:
Posting to Academia.edu
Check out what Elsevier is doing:
Please consider adding your work to KORA (the KPU Institutional Repository).
Click here to learn more about KORA and the benefits to you of adding your works.
There is evidence that there is a growth in predatory publishers, with the addition of at least one a day to Beall’s List of Potential, Possible, or Probably Predatory Scholarly Open Access Publishers,
See Beall’s stats on the growing number of predatory OA publishers below. Unfortunately, these unscrupulous companies are giving OA a bad name.
Beall recommends that “scholars read the available reviews, assessments and descriptions provided here, and then decide for themselves whether they want to submit articles, serve as editors or on editorial boards. The criteria for determining predatory publishers are here.”
Information on predatory publishers and a link to Beall’s site, can be found on our guide called “Library Resources to Support Research & Scholarship at KPU” under “Getting Published”.