Author Rights & Copyright

Copyright law grants copyright owners the right to reproduce, distribute, modify, publicly display, and perform their works.

As the author of your scholarly work, you are the copyright owner unless you transfer that ownership to someone else, like a publisher.  

Ideally, author rights and copyright ownership information are available on a publisher's website.  If not, email the publisher to ask about the author rights because it may factor into your journal selection process. Read author rights information carefully; it details who controls your published work. 

Questions to consider:

  • What are my rights for various versions of my work, including pre-print and publisher versions?
  • Are these author rights negotiable?
  • Am I allowed to share the full text via email, a digital repository, or Google Scholar?
  • Are there timing stipulations?  Can I only share it before publication or after a certain period has passed?
  • Do I have to transfer all exclusive rights to this publisher, limiting my ability to share my work and expand upon it?

See SPARC's introduction on author rights for more information.

Tennessee Tech Library - more than you expect

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