Author Rights & Copyright

Table of Contents:

  1. Author Rights
    • Negotiate with Your Publisher
    • Use Creative Commons Licenses
    • Useful links
  2. Works by Others

Author Rights

Negotiate with Your Publisher

It is not impossible to negotiate with your publisher to retain (some of) your rights:e.g., reproduction, distribution, public display, and modification of the original work. This is because you are the copyright owner/holder until you transfer it to a publisher in a signed agreement.

Step 1: Identify what rights you want to retain.

Step 2: Assess whether the publisher’s agreement allows you to retain those rights.

Step 3: Submitting an addendum (e.g., SPARC Canadian Author Addendum to Publication Agreement (English) (May 2019) or Scholar's Copyright Addendum Engine by Science Commons could be one option. Yet, in order to effectively negotiate with the publisher whether you could revise and modify the agreement, contacting the editor/publisher first would be more suitable.

Step 4: Once you reach a reasonable agreement with the publisher, save it as a record of your rights to use your work.

Note: Regarding books, please also pay attention to some implications of royalties, book formats (e.g., hardcover, softcover, e-book, and audio book), and a situation where your book goes out of print or ceases to sell. Authors might want to explore different possibilities: for example, whether the publisher is going to make your publication electronic and sell it to academic libraries or whether the publisher is planning to make it open access in the future when the book becomes out of print. Before you sign, you might also visit as it offers a 4.52 Basic book-contract provisions page (‘Rights, Permissions, and Copyright Administration’ in The Chicago Manual of Style Online, 17th ed.).

Use Creative Commons Licenses

Open Access does not mean that you give up your work and rights (e.g., reproduction, distribution, public display, and modification of the original work). Creative Commons licenses allow authors to choose different types of “open license” options rather than the standard “all rights reserved” copyright distribution. When you make your publication freely available, please make sure to include a Creative Common License or something similar.

When you use TSpace for accepted manuscripts (Green Open Access), we usually suggest

creative commons licence graphic Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs (CC BY-NC-ND):

“This license is the most restrictive of our six main licenses, only allowing others to download your works and share them with others as long as they credit you, but they can’t change them in any way or use them commercially” (Creative Commons licenses). Because publishers often request the most restrictive license, the author who wants to change the license would need to negotiate with the publishers.

Useful Links

Works by Others

It is important to obtain permission to reproduce materials. Many publishers indicate wording along these lines: the authors “are responsible for obtaining permission to use copyrighted material, as well as paying all necessary fees and providing, upon publication, any complimentary copies of your book that the copyright holder requires” (Stanford University Press, Author Guidelines, 2012).

Please check the publisher’s guidelines: for example, Journal Permissions Guidelines by Wiley.

For further information, please contact: Yayo Umetsubo, UTM Scholarly Communications Librarian