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Publishing Your Research: Copyright

You have done your research. You have data to share, or you wrote an what?

Your Rights as an Author

Your Rights as An Author

  • You own what you create.  As author you are automatically the copyright holder.  Registration is not required.
  • You retain your copyright unless you transfer it in a signed written agreement
  • The copyright holder controls the work

Author Rights:  Association of Research Libraries:

​Who Owns Copyright?

  • The author
  • Those deriving rights from the author
  • The employer, if it is a work for hire
  • Two or more authors, if it is a joint work

For more information:

Who Can Claim Copyright from 

Which Rights to Retain?


Transfer Copyrights But Reserve Some Rights

  • Negotiate changes to the standard contract before publication
  • Before signing, strikeout and modify language of the publishing contract by changing the contract from granting "exclusive" rights to granting "non-exclusive" rights to the publisher.
  • Initial changes and submit a signed copy to the publisher
  • In many cases, publishes will accept modified contracts.

Keep Rights and Transfer Limited Rights to the Publisher

  • Cross out the original exclusive transfer language in the contract and replace it with text such as:

"The author grants to the Publisher exclusive first publication rights in the Work, and further grants a non-exclusive license for other uses of the Work for the duration of its copyright in all languages, throughout the world, in all media. The Publisher shall include a notice in the Work saying "© [Author's Name]." Readers of this article may copy it without the copyright owner's permission, if the author and publisher are acknowledged in the copy and copy is used for educational, not-for-profit purposes."

Use the SPARC Addendum, or any other addendum you find suitable.  

Use Creative Commons publishing options.  Creative Commons helps you to publish your work while letting others know exactly what they can and cannot do with it.  When you choose a Creative Commons License, CC provides tools and tutorials to let you add licensing information to your own site.  

From: The University of Iowa Libraries: Copyright: Author Rights

Why Retain Your Rights?


Why Retain Your Rights?

Publishers often create barriers for authors who would like to reuse their work, or allow others to use it. Negotiating changes to the standard agreement can help authors to avoid these common barriers.  

Retaining Your Rights

Retaining Your Rights 

Check SHERPA/ RoMEO to view copyright policies of the publisher.

Publisher Policies

Publisher Policies

Below you will find links to general copyright information for several major academic publishers.