Author Rights Movement

Traditional Author Agreements

When authors sign traditional copyright agreements with commercial publishers, they usually are denied the right to use their own works later in teaching, sharing research, and future publications. Such limitations include distributing copies of their own works to students or peers, using their works in course packs, using their works in new or derivative publications, or posting articles on their own Web sites or in repositories. By signing a traditional author agreement without an addendum and giving away all rights, the author must get special permission or pay a fee (often a significant sum) to use the original work later.

Author Addenda

Authors are increasingly re-claiming rights to their own work by adding addenda to copyright-release forms. Although there are various versions of author addenda available through the Internet, probably the best example of such addenda can be found at the Scholarly Copyright Addendum Engine, but other examples of addenda can be found at the Scholarly Communications Toolkit

Author Benefits from the Use of Author Addenda in Open Access Publishing

By using Author Addenda that allow the posting of works in open access repositories, authors enjoy greater discoverability through Internet search engines and rapid worldwide access to their publications. A growing number of studies have shown that, across all disciplines, open access articles have greater research impact than traditional publications—OA articles are read by more scholars and cited more frequently. Authors who adopt open-access practices are being rewarded for it with increased recognition of their publications—an author with OA publications enjoys a larger community of readers who reference the author’s works with greater numbers of citations.