Managing your copyright
Scholarly publishing is rapidly changing as new technological developments are made in the publishing industry. To expand the reach of research and maximize its value in this environment, many scholars are taking a more active role in managing their copyrights. In fact, in 2007 the UW-Madison Faculty Senate passed a resolution encouraging faculty to control their copyright and recommended the use of the endorsed author addendum. In support of these efforts the UW-Madison Libraries want you to be aware of your rights as an author, and can help you navigate and manage your copyrights.
In many cases, when you publish in a journal or sign a book contract, the publisher will ask you to sign away some of your copyrights. These agreements can deprive authors of the right to post their work on the Internet, share articles with colleagues, or even make copies for classroom use without permission from the publisher.
Why it matters for authors
Copyright law provides authors with the ability to do the following and more:
- Share their work with others
- Reuse a copyrighted material in a future work
- Publicly archive their work on a personal website and/or a subject or institutional repository (e.g. MINDS@UW, PubMedCentral, Social Science Research Network, etc)
When working with a publisher, taking an active role in managing your copyright will allow you to retain the rights you need to do your work and provide others with the rights to reuse your work in ways you wish and deem appropriate.
Author’s Rights (2 min video) A short video for faculty and researchers, presenting issues about retaining key rights for journal articles.