Loyola University Chicago Libraries

Open Access: Author's Rights

Learn how to read a publication agreement and understand the rights you retain, plus how to negotiate for additional rights.

Understanding Publication Agreements

Review the following publication agreements. As you read them, pay close attention to which rights the author retains, and which are transferred to the publisher. Also note what the publisher emphasizes the most in their language.

JAMA agreement: http://jama.jamanetwork.com/data/ifora-forms/jama/auinst_crit.pdf
Wiley-Blackwell agreement: http://media.wiley.com/assets/1540/86/ctaaglobal.pdf
BioMedCentral agreement: http://www.biomedcentral.com/download/license.pdf

Which publisher gives the author the most rights? Which the least? If you published with this publisher, would you be allowed to post your items in a repository? Give them to colleagues? Teach them in class?

Email us with questions about this exercise.

What is Copyright?

Rights You Transfer with a Copyright Transfer

  1. To reproduce the copyrighted work in copies or phono records;
  2. to prepare derivative works based on the copyrighted work;
  3. to distribute copies or phono records of the copyrighted work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending;
  4. in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and motion pictures and other audiovisual works, to perform the copyrighted work publicly; and
  5. in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and pictorial, graphic, or sculptural works, including the individual images of a motion picture or other audiovisual work, to display the copyrighted work publicly.

Yes, if someone wants to make a movie of your article, your publisher gets the right to agree to this!

Negotiating Additional Rights

When your publisher asks you to sign a publication agreement, review it carefully. Determine what rights you are transferring, and if you want to modify those, use an addendum to state the rights you are requesting. The publisher may accept your changes, offer you a new contract, or reject your changes. You will then need to make a decision about how to proceed. Librarians at LUC are happy to consult with you about this process, though we cannot offer legal advice.

Using Previously Published Work

If you have published work previously that you would like to reuse, the first step is to locate the publication agreement that you signed, or contact your publisher to get a copy of it. If you transferred your copyright and do not have a record of rights you retained, you will need to get written permission from your publisher that states your use of the work is allowed. Email ecommons@luc.edu for assistance with this process.

Scholarly Communication Basics

Thank You

This is based on work that was created by Molly Keener for the ACRL workshop “Scholarly Communication 101: Starting With the Basics” and last updated in May 2013. It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/