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Intellectual Property (copyright & plagiarism): Author Rights & Publishing

Publication Amendments

An author's addendum is a legal instrument that modifies the publisher's agreement and allows you to keep key rights to your work

  • SPARC Author Addendum
    A free resource developed by SPARC in partnership with Creative Commons and Science Commons
  • Author Addenda
    This is a list of author addenda. The purpose is to help authors who are uncomfortable negotiating contract terms with publishers
  • Science Commons:Scholar's Copyright Agreement
    "The Scholar's Copyright Addendum" provides an online form to generate a PDF form that can be attached to a journal publisher's copryight agreement to retain specific author rights
University of Michigan
Model addendum for UM faculty and students
Endorsed by the University of Minnesota Senate, created in 2007 and similar to the SPARC Author Addendum

It is your work anyway!

A publication agreement typically hands over an author's rights in a work directly to the publisher.  Publishers would like authors to think that a transfer of "all rights" is necessary. The courts disagree. Case law has established that an author's right in a work constitutes a "bundle" which can be divided and granted separately.

Retaining your rights as an author is important. It ensures you can use your own writings in teaching or as a foundation for future research or publications.  Negotiating contract terms or attaching an author addendum to the publisher agreement helps ensure you retain the rights that are yours anyway.

Once you sign a publication agreement, you are subject to its terms--even if it prevents you from re-using your own work! Don't give away more than is necessary

UTM Guides

UTM publishes some reminders for faculty and staff whose work has been accepted for publication.  Read this before signing a contract!

Things to Know

SPARC Author's Rights  Initiative provides an informative website including the SPARC Author Addendum .  A legal instrument that modifies the publisher’s agreement and allows you to keep key rights to your articles. The Author Addendum is a free resource developed by SPARC in partnership with Creative Commons andScience Commons established non-profit organizations that offer a range of copyright options for many different creative endeavors.

Author's Rights, Tout de Suite  by Charles W. Bailey, Jr. provides a quick introduction to key aspects of authors' rights, and supplies addiitonal information through relevant references to online documents and links to pertinent Web sites.

Bernard Becker Medical Library, Washington University School of Medicine provides an informative list of Phrases to Look for in Publisher Copyright Agreement Forms (Feb. 11, 2008). The document provides an informative list of examples of rights and stipulations in various copyright agreement forms.

The NIH Public Access Policy ensures that the public has access to the published results of NIH funded research. It requires scientists to submit final peer-reviewed journal manuscripts that arise from NIH funds to the digital archive PubMed Centralupon acceptance for publication.  To help advance science and improve human health, the Policy requires that these papers are accessible to the public on PubMed Central no later than 12 months after publication.  NIH Manuscript Submission System provides submission information to ensure your publishing agreement allows the paper to be posted to PubMed Central in accordance with the  NIH Public Access Policy.  For more information regarding the NIH Public Access Policy, peruse the Public Access Frequently Asked Questions

Rights links