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Author Rights and Publishing Resources

Understand and take control of your rights as the creator of new research and scholarship

Take control of your research and scholarship

No matter which rights you may choose to retain and which you are willing to sign over to the publisher, it is imperative that you read the copyright transfer agreement carefully. Remember: this should be an agreement between two interested parties, the author and the publisher. Authors can and should advocate for changes to any publisher agreement in order to retain desired rights to their work.

A balanced approach to author rights

Authors likely wish to...

Retain a desired set of rights

Use and develop their own work without restriction

Increase access to their works for educational and research purposes

Receive proper attribution when their work is used

Deposit their work in an open access digital repository like the UH Institutional Repository, where it will be permanently and globally accessible


Publishers only need to...

Obtain a non-exclusive right from the author to publish and distribute a work and receive a financial return

Receive proper attribution and citation as the journal of first publication

Migrate the work to future formats and include it in collections

For more about striking a balanced approach, see the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition's Author Rights and Author Addendum brochure.

Finding, adapting, and using an author addendum

The SPARC Author Addenum is an addendum commonly used in the U.S. and Canada. This link provides information about retaining copyright for academic articles as well assample addenda that you may amend and submit with a publication agreement.

The Science Commons' Scholar's Copyright Addendum Engine allows you to retain the necessary rights to reuse your research. After you have entered in your name, the title of the article, the name of the journal and publisher, and selected the type of agreement, the engine automatically generates an addendum that can be attached to the original agreement.

Publishing in an open access journal

Researchers across many fields of study are interested in publishing through Open Access (OA) journals, but there can be barriers to making one's work immediately and globally available. The main barrier is cost: the majority of English-language OA journal publishers charge an Article Processing Charge (APC), which can be quite expensive and is not always covered or defrayed by a grant or by one's academic department or institution. Sherpa/RoMEO offers an extensive, curated list of Open Access journals and their author processing charges (APCs).

Another common challenge is finding a suitable OA journal to publish with, and fears around falling victim to so-called predatory publishers. To help authors navigate the process, the Directory of Open Access Journals offers a "Best Practices Guide" for those researchers interested in publishing in an Open Access journal. This web resource provides selection criteria, resources and tools for the identification of reputable open access journals to support researchers, publishers and librarians in their search of best practice and transparency standards. It is also an attempt to collect discussions about open access to publications and its development. It is developed by, and updated regularly by, the DOAJ team based on existing and new information.