Sunday, 23 October 2016

Authors Rights - Academic Publishing - LibGuides at The Florida State University


What Options Do Authors Have?

A copyright is actually a bundle of
rights. Traditionally all of them have been transferred to the
publisher as a requirement for publication, but it doesn't have to be
this way. There are a number of other options available to you.

Option 1: The author retains all rights and licenses publication
The ideal
solution from the author's perspective would be to retain the copyright
and all associated rights in their work while licensing to publishers
only the rights the publisher needs to conduct its business. You get to
determine who can use your scholarship.
You can,
for example, grant the publisher an exclusive license for the first
formal publication of the work (in print, digital ,or some other form).
In addition, you might want to grant the publisher non-exclusive rights
to authorize (or accomplish themselves) the following:
• Subsequent republication of the work

• Reformatting of the publication (from print to microfilm or digital formats, for example)

• Distribution via document delivery services or in course packs
The key issue with Option 1 is
determining what are the minimum bundle of rights that the publisher
needs in order to protect its investment in the publication. This will
vary from publisher to publisher.

Option 2: Author transfers his/her copyright, but retains some specified rights.
You can assign your copyright to the
publisher, but at the same time reserve some specific rights for
yourself. Rights you might want to retain include:

  • The right to make reproductions for use in teaching, scholarship, and research
  • The right to borrow portions of the work for use in other works
  • The right to make derivative works
  • The right to alter the work, add to the work, or update the content of the work
  • The right to be identified as the author of the work
  • The right to be informed of any uses, reproductions, or distributions of the work
  • The right to perform or display the work
  • The right to include all or part of this material in the your thesis or dissertation
  • The right to make oral presentation of the material in any forum
  • The right to authorize making materials available to underdeveloped nations for humanitarian purposes
  • The right to archive and preserve the
    work as part of either a personal or institutional initiative, e.g. On
    your web site or in an institutional repository.
  • The copyright in every draft and pre-print version of the work.
The weakness of Option 2 is that it is
often difficult to anticipate in advance everything that an author may
wish to do with a work, especially over time and with changes in
information technology.

The Scholars Copyright Addendum Engine
can generate an addendum that can be attached to a publishing contract.
The addendum reserves to the author the rights that are of greatest

Option 3: Authors can transfer all copyrights to the publisher.
Option 3 is the traditional solution, but is the least desirable from the author's perspective.

Source:  Cornell University
Libraries, published under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 U.S. License

Copyrights and Intellectual Property

Developing an understanding of basic rights to your work is essential to the wide dissemination and impact of academic research.


  • The author of a work owns full copyright to that work from the moment of creation.
  • Copyright is a bundle of rights that can be transferred in whole or in part.
  • Retaining some rights in that bundle is in the best interest of the author.
Traditionally, academic journal
publishers have required the transfer of all rights as a condition to
publish an article. The publisher then becomes the exclusive owner of
the article, which they then sell back to scholars through journal
subscriptions that the University Library pays for. Retaining copyrights
at the beginning of this process will begin to allow easier and more
fluid forms of sharing scholarship. 

Agreeing to publish in a journal
doesn't have to be an all or nothing contract, and there are several
means of negotiating ownership that faculty at many institutions are
beginning to utilize. After consultation with a librarian or
intellectual property expert, attaching an approved "copyright addendum"
to your publication contract offers the publisher the rights you are
willing to offer them while retaining your ownership and greater utility
for sharing your work. 

Author's Rights in 18 clicks

A brief presentation created by Micah Vandegrift outlining the basics of copyright in regards to faculty journal articles. 

Creative Commons Licenses

The Creative Commons
organization was founded in 2001 as a means of permitting creators to
license their work for public use under conditions they specify.
Although not an alternative to copyright and not an indication that a
work is part of the public domain, Creative Commons licenses
permit the holders of copyright to define more clearly, than perhaps
modern copyright law interpretation allows, how their works may be used
and give users of copyrighted works greater creative freedom when they
know, without question, how copyrighted works can be incorporated into
new creations.

From Technology Enhanced Learning

Authors Rights - Academic Publishing - LibGuides at The Florida State University

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