Authors are encouraged to anticipate their future use of the work and retain any or all of the rights they may need to achieve their academic and professional goals. Authors may want to retain rights to do the following:
See Practical Guidance When Submitting Journal Articles from SPARC.
The Scholar’s Copyright Addendum Engine created by Creative Commons allows authors to choose from four addenda which will automatically generate amendments to a publisher’s copyright agreement for authors to retain certain rights to their work.
Note: Authors who receive funding from agencies that have public access mandate policies must retain the right to comply with these policies. Examples of public access mandates are the NIH Public Access Policy and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Policy on Public Access to Publications.
In some cases it may be necessary to negotiate with a publisher in order to retain rights that are not expressly noted by the publisher on the journal website or the publisher copyright agreement form. One way for authors to negotiate is to discuss their needs with the publisher or Editor-in-Chief. In most cases, the publisher or Editor-in-Chief will support the author’s rationale in favor of retaining of certain rights. Once an agreement is reached authors are encouraged to confirm what was agreed upon by doing one of the following:
Any changes made directly on the form agreement must include the initials of the author and the initials of an authorized representative of the publisher, which are placed immediately adjacent to the handwritten or typewritten change. Any changes made and initialed by the author will have no legal effect without the approval of the publisher.
NOTE: Some journal publishers have not updated their copyright agreement forms to harmonize with the information provided in the instructions for authors section. Authors are encouraged to carefully review the publisher copyright agreement form before signing to confirm that the anticipated uses and rights or the rights granted up front by the publisher are outlined on the form. If not, authors should seek clarification from the publisher before signing and ask if you can include an addendum.