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Scholarly Publishing

Guide to help define Open Access and its effect on scholarly publishing and author's rights.


For more information regarding author's rights, please contact:

Mary Ann McMenaminCopyright & Compliance Officer 

Creative Commons: Wanna work together?

A Shared Culture

Know your rights. Protect your rights.

Copyright law gives the creator of copyrighted works exclusive rights, including the right to: 

  • reproduce the work in copies (e.g., through photocopying)
  • distribute copies of the work; 
  • prepare translations or other derivative works
  • perform or display the work publicly
  • authorize others to exercise any of these rights. 

Your works are protected by copyright as soon as you fix them in a tangible medium, including electronic media. When you write an article for a scholarly journal, you are typically asked to sign a publication agreement or a copyright transfer agreement. The purpose of this document is to transfer your ownership of copyright to the publisher. 

Copyright is a bundle or package of the rights cited above. You can “unbundle” these rights and transfer only some of them to publishers. For example: 

  • You can transfer ownership of the copyright, but retain the right to do certain things such as include articles in course packs, or place articles on a personal web site or an institutional repository.
  • You can retain ownership of the copyright and grant a non-exclusive license to the publisher, typically for the right of first formal publication. 

Templates for Author Rights