Author Rights in Scholarly Publishing and Open Access

SPARC succinctly explains what author rights are: “When you decide to publish an article in a peer-reviewed journal, you own the full copyrights to that article. If you publish in an open access journal, you retain your full copyrights. However, if you choose to publish in a traditional subscription access journal, you will be required to sign a form transferring some – or all – of your copyrights to that publisher.”

An important part of the Open Access movement is the understanding that, as an author, you have rights to the work that you are creating. When an author publishes in an OA journal, they will generally retain the full rights to the article. These rights can include:

  • the rights to reproduce, to distribute, to publicly perform, and to publicly display the Article in any medium for non-commercial purposes.
  • the right to prepare derivative works from the Article.
  • the right to authorize others to make any non-commercial use of the Article so long as Author receives credit as author and the journal in which the Article has been published is cited as the source of first publication of the Article.

For more information, check out these additional readings and resources for authors’ rights:

Used from the SPARC Author Addendum.
Association of Research Libraries, Author Rights.