What are my rights as an author?

Author rights refer to the rights you retain over your work when you sign a publication agreement. When you publish something, particularly a journal article, many publishers will typically ask you to transfer all your copyrights to the work as a condition of publication. This contract may also be referred to as a “copyright transfer agreement”.  It is important to look carefully at your agreement. Unless the agreement indicates otherwise, you may be forbidden to do several actions.

Fundamental rights of authors
A brief presentation about five rights of researchers in scholarly publishing.

Resources for authors
General information about author's rights from the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC).

Tools to help negotiate your contract

SPARC Canadian Author Addendum
This page provides information on how to use an author addendum designed especially for Canadian academic authors.  There is a revised addendum to securing your rights as the author of a journal article (PDF 182 KB).

SPARC Author Rights Initiatives
This page informs researchers about how to use the SPARC Author Addendum to retain their rights as authors of journal articles.

Scholar's Copyright Addendum Engine
Tool to generate an addendum to a journal publisher's copyright transfer agreement in order for an author to retain certain rights.

Open Access Directory: Author Addenda
A list of author addenda created to help authors retain their rights.

Know your publisher

SHERPA/RoMEO is a tool that provides a summary of permissions that are usually given as part of a journal publisher's copyright transfer agreement.

SHERPA/JULIET is a database of research funders' open access policies useful for grant-funded authors.

Creative Commons provides a set of copyright licenses and tools that provide creators with a way to retain their copyright while allowing others to use the work in specified ways.