My Article - My Copyright?
is the legal bundle of rights associated with the use and distribution of an
original work. Authors are the initial owners of the full copyrights to their
articles. In order to publish an article in a journal, publishers require the
author's permission. In the traditional publishing process, authors grant permission
by transferring copyright, in whole or in part, to the publisher. Consequently,
the author usually loses control over the article. Future uses such as
uploading the article to the author's webpage or sharing it on academic social
networks, must receive the publisher's permission.
Author's rights in a published article are determined by the specific contract signed between the author and the publisher.
Publishers' general copyright and self-archiving policies are available on their websites. SHERPA/RoMEO search engine summarizes publishers' conditions and categorizes publishers by colors, indicating level of author rights.
Open access advocates for authors maintaining ownership of their work. This can be achieved by proving an author addendum to the publishing agreement, stating the rights that the author will retain after passing an article to a publisher for publication.
Authors may also request to sign a License to Publish instead of a full transfer of rights. This means that authors retain all rights that are not explicitly licensed to the publisher.
Once ensuring their copyright in the article, authors can provide Open Access of their work by self-archiving, e.g., placing a copy of their article in an Open Access repository.
Authors wishing to provide liberal re-use rights for users, while retaining their copyright of the article, may ask the publisher to release their work under a Creative Commons license.
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