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Author Rights


Know your rights as an author!

As the author of your scholarly works, you are the sole copyright holder until you transfer that copyright to someone else (a publisher). Below are some resources to help you understand copyright, your rights as an author, and how to keep those rights and have your works widely disseminated.


Sharing your accepted manuscript through an open access platform can increase its reach and ensure access for years to come. Before doing so, you need to understand what your publishing contract allows. If you consider these issues prior to signing your publishing contract, you can advocate for yourself and negotiate for the rights or licenses you desire.

Determine what version of the manuscript you want to share:

Swoger, B. (2013). Understanding your rights: Pre-prints, post-prints and publisher versions. Information Culture [blog post]. Scientific American.

This article explains the differences between the different manuscript versions which may be referenced in your publishing contract.

Research Publications’ Policies:

Sherpa Romeo

A searchable database produced by the UK nonprofit Jisc, agrgegating and analyzing  publishers' copyright and  open access policies.

Understand Your Rights:

The SPARC Guide to Author Rights

An explanation of author rights as well as SPARC's Author Addendum which authors can submit to publishers to request an amendment to their publishing contracts.

Considerations Before Signing a Publishing Contract:

Kansas State Libraries' Author Rights Checklist.

A worksheet to help authors analyze their needs before signing a publishing contract.

Accessing Your Submitted Manuscript After Publication:

Direct2AAM: Helping Authors Find Author Accepted Manuscripts.

If you would like to share your submitted manuscript but no longer have the correct version, this guide will help you determine how to access it through different publishers' submission websites.

Learn About Options for Getting Your Rights Back:

Columbia Law School's Keep Your Copyrights.

If you have already signed away your copyright to a publisher but would now like to share that work in a different venue, this guide will help you understand your options.

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