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Scholarly Communications@WSU

A guide for Faculty and Librarians covering DigitalCommons@WayneState, Author's Rights, Open Access, and other related topics.

Know Your Rights as an Author

The author is the copyright holder. 

As the author of a work you are the copyright holder unless and until you transfer the copyright to someone else in a signed agreement.

Assigning your rights matters. 

Normally, the copyright holder possesses the exclusive rights of reproduction, distribution, public performance, public display, and modification of the original work. An author who has transferred copyright without retaining these rights must ask permission unless the use is one of the statutory exemptions incopyright law.

The copyright holder controls the work.

Decisions concerning use of the work, such as distribution, access, pricing, updates, and any use restrictions belong to the copyright holder. Authors who have transferred their copyright without retaining any rights may not be able to place the work on course Web sites, copy it for students or colleagues, deposit the work in a public online archive, or reuse portions in a subsequent work. That’s why it is important to retain the rights you need.

Transferring copyright doesn’t have to be all or nothing.

The law allows you to transfer copyright while holding back rights for yourself and others. This is the compromise that the Scholar's Copyright Author Addendum helps you to achieve.

Protecting Your Scholarship

Scholar's Copyright Addendum Engine

Complete the form linked below to generate a PDF form that can be attached to a journal publisher's copyright agreement to ensure that the authors retain certain rights.


Copyright Addendum Form

How to Use Scholar's Copyright Addendum

  1. Complete addendum in form above
  2. Print a copy, sign and date, attach it to your publication agreement.
  3. Sign and date publisher agreement, under signature add “Subject to attached addendum.”
  4. Note in a cover letter to publisher you have added an addendum, staple all three documents together
  5. Make copies
  6. Mail originals to publisher

Author's Rights: Protect Your Copyright!

Your article has been accepted for publication in a journal. You'd like the widest distribution of your research, as it represents the culmination of years of research and hard work. Today you have other options than just print publication, like online archiving, but the publication agreement you’ll likely encounter will actually prevent broad distribution of your work.

Most standard publishing agreements ask you to give away control of your copyright, limiting the future use of your article. Under a standard agreement, you may not be able to post your work to your personal website, re-use sections in later works, archive your article in DigitalCommons@WSU, e-mail your article to colleagues, or post your article to BlackBoard for a class reading assignment.

WSULS would like to help you regain control of your work and your rights as an author. Use the resources on this page to help you get started in this process.

Author's Rights Resources