Your Copyright: Increase the Impact of Your Research
Information for MIT authors
Why retain rights?
- Many publishers create significant barriers for authors who want to
reuse or share their work, and for access to that work by others.
Negotiating changes to standard publisher agreements can help authors
avoid these obstacles, thus increasing options for authors as well as
readership, citation, and impact of the work itself. (Openly available
articles have been shown to be more heavily cited.)
- Publishers routinely change the agreements they ask authors to sign.
If you have not secured rights you want as an author, the publisher may
alter its practices over time.
- Making research and scholarship as widely available as possible
supports MIT’s mission of “generating, disseminating, and preserving
knowledge, and to working with others to bring this knowledge to bear on
the world’s great challenges.”
- MIT Faculty unanimously adopted a policy
in March 2009 that ensures their scholarly articles will be openly
available. Through this policy, faculty give MIT nonexclusive permission
to make their scholarly articles available and to exercise the
copyright in those articles for the purpose of open dissemination. This
policy exists prior to any publisher copyright agreement. To be
thorough, MIT recommends that you communicate this policy to your
publisher and add to any copyright license or assignment for scholarly
articles an addendum stating that the agreement is subject to this prior license.
- Some research funders request or require that work created with
their funds be made available openly on the web. Their policies can be
reviewed at the “Juliet” site. Other institutions also have open access policies or mandates.
Which rights to retain?
- MIT authors are often most interested in retaining rights to:
How to retain rights?
- Authors should specify the rights they want to retain, as most
publishers do not extend these rights to authors in their standard
- One simple way to retain rights is to use the MIT Copyright Amendment Form.
- This form enables authors to continue using their publications in their academic work; to deposit them into DSpace@MIT;
and to deposit them into any discipline-based research repository
(including PubMed Central, the National Library of Medicine’s database
for NIH-funded manuscripts).
Which publishers are likely to be flexible about these rights?
- Publisher policies and agreements vary considerably. The “Romeo” database offers a convenient summary of many publisher copyright policies & self-archiving.
- Publisher policies and agreements are usually linked from the author
information or article submission section of a journal’s website.
- Publisher policies change over time, and the terms stated on their
websites often vary from the terms of their actual agreements, so it is
important to read the agreement itself.
Where do I go with questions about these issues?
- The MIT Libraries’ Program Manager for the Office of Scholarly
Publishing & Licensing, Ellen Finnie Duranceau: efinnie at mit.edu /
Scholarly Publishing - MIT Libraries | Your Copyright: Increase the Impact of Your Research