What advice is there for researchers about retaining copyright?
One of the things that the Open Access Movement and repositories in general are trying to promote is an incresed awareness of just what rights researchers are signing away when they make their agreements with publishers. The aim being for researchers to try to retain the copyright to their own work as much as possible. There are many reasons for doing so, both personal and professional, but the main one is so that you can achieve the widest distribution of your work as possible. Many of the traditional routes to exposure of journal content are restricted by the modern copyright agreement. Sherpa RoMEO can be used to check out the copyright policies of individual publishers and journals to give you an idea of the standard agreements that the publisher's will be expecting you to sign, if you would like to retain more of your right's than are indicated in these agreements then the pages listed below can give you advice and some strategies to go about this.
More information on ways authors can alter agreements to retain copyright or to retain more rights to their work can be found in the links below:
- The Copyright Toolbox is the result of SURF Foundation and JISC funded research on copyright in scholarly communication. Advice can be found here for both the author and the publisher to achieve a balance between both their aims for a copyright agreement.
- The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) and the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) have drafted guidance and an example an addendum to your copyright policy to allow you to retain more rights.
- The Versions Toolkit (pp. 11-12) gives more information on author's rights and things to consider in relation to copyright agreements.
There is also advice from the University's Legal Compliance webpages from the Legal Services team:
- Of particular relevance in their 'Advice for Academic Seeking to Publish' page. Here you can find information on the copyright situation in relation to the University and some advice for when you begin negotiations with publishers.