Did you know you can retain some or all of the rights associated with your journal publications, including copyright, and still publish with the journal of your choice? Rather than transfer away all of their rights to publishers, many authors are approaching publishers with an addendum to the publishing contract, modifying the copyright transfer agreement to retain certain rights to use their works in the ways that they need.
Why would you want to retain rights? To reuse, or to authorize others to reuse portions of the work in future publications without being concerned with copyright infringement. To disseminate your work to students or colleagues. To store it on your website or a course website. To deposit a version of it in ResearchCommons, the institutional repository for UT Arlington, or other open access repositories, so that researchers who are not members of institutions paying tens of thousands of dollars for access to journals can still find it, read it, and cite it–and a growing body of research indicates that making works openly available on the web increases citation counts and impact.
You can check a particular journal’s official policy on author rights retention: perhaps you already have the right to deposit your work in the institutional repository. Or, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and library staff will comb your publications on Mentis for you, establishing those works that your publisher will allow you to add to ResearchCommons according to the terms of your contract with them. The library will manage the process of ingesting, preserving, and making these works more accessible.
Value your copyright, and do not transfer to the publisher more than is needed to publish and distribute an article. If you want to find out more about copyright transfer agreements, open access, or other issues related to scholarly communications, contact the Libraries’ Department of Scholarly Communications at email@example.com!