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Authors' Rights in Scholarly Publishing: Know Your Rights

A guide to copyright in scholarly publishing, including negotiating with publishers, journal options, and self-archiving.

Know Your Rights!

files in a folder with copyright symbol

Before you submit to a journal, check out their copyright policies.

After your article is accepted for publication, ensure that you are retaining the rights you need.

An Example of a Publisher's Copyright Policy (Elsevier):

For Subscription Journals
Authors transfer copyright to the publisher as part of a journal publishing agreement, but have the right to:

  • Share their article for Personal Use, Internal Institutional Use and Scholarly Sharing purposes, with a DOI link to the version of record on publisher site(and with the Creative Commons CC-BY-NC- ND license for author manuscript versions)
  • Retain patent, trademark and other intellectual property rights (including research data).
  • Proper attribution and credit for the published work.

For Open Access Journals
Authors sign an exclusive license agreement, where authors have copyright but license exclusive rights in their article to the publisher. In this case authors have the right to:

  • Share their article in the same ways permitted to third parties under the relevant user license (together with Personal Use rights) so long as it contains a CrossMark logo, the end user license, and a DOI link to the version of record on publisher site.
  • Retain patent, trademark and other intellectual property rights (including research data).
  • Proper attribution and credit for the published work.

Source: Elsevier. (2017). Copyright. 

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