Don’t Sign Away Your Rights!
Traditional publishers’ agreements often transfer copyright from the author to the publisher, giving them the right to reproduce and redistribute your work.
The most important thing you can do is read your copyright transfer agreement. Don’t like what it says? You can amend the agreements to retain the rights you need to make copies of your work and to share it with others.
Examine your publishers’ agreements
What is the publisher requiring of you? Those agreements that require you to transfer all your rights limit what you can do with your own work—that is, you are no longer the copyright holder.
If your publisher agreement reads something like: “the undersigned authors transfer ownership of copyright, including the right to publish and distribute the work by any means, method, or process whether now known or to be development in the future, to the Publisher,” consider amending the agreement.
Agreements that let you retain control of your work often have phrases like: “I grant the journal a non-exclusive license to publish my work”; “I understand that no rights are transferred to the Journal”; or “I understand that a Creative Commons license will be applied to my work.”
Modify your agreements when needed
Publishing agreements are negotiable. Know your rights and consider using the SPARC author addendum to modify your agreement.
Deposit your work in MOspace
If you’ve retained the right to post to an online archive, submit your work to the MOspace Institutional Repository. An institutional repository, like MOspace, is one of the best ways to disseminate and preserve your work. As an open access tool, MOspace ensures that current and future generations of scholars benefit by finding your work.
More information on retaining your rights.