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Author Rights

Why Manage Your Rights as an Author?

These rights (based on your negotiations) affect the potential reach and impact of your scholarly work as well as your ability to use your own work. The rights you retain determine whether you can legally distribute copies of your work to colleagues and students, post your work online, or deposit it in your institutional repository. Look at the resources listed here to learn more about how to secure your rights as an author. Rights retention also has the power to affect how you are able to reuse the work of others.

Managing and Negotiating Copyright Agreements

As the author or creator of an original work, you automatically have copyright for it, which gives exclusive control of how the work is reproduced, distributed or performed. If you transfer copyright, you no longer have control of how your work is distributed or used.

Scholars who sign away all rights can find themselves requesting permission from publishers to place their own articles on a personal website, in a course pack or an institutional repository, or to distribute copies to colleagues. Managing your copyrights can help serve your interests and those of the scholarly community.

Get Started!

  • The Boston Library Consortium, an association of 19 academic and research libraries that Northeastern belongs to, has adopted an agreement that can be used by authors to extend their rights with publishers.
  • SPARC's Resources for Authors page introduces the SPARC Author Addendum, a legal form that enables authors of journal articles to modify publishers’ copyright transfer agreements and keep key rights to their own articles.
  • The Authors Guild offers legal services for its members, including contract review, tips on improving a book contract, and advice on electronic rights.