Open Access

Information about Open Access to articles and other scholarly texts.

Five Action Items Researchers Can Take Today

Researchers can and should consider changing the terms of the standard author agreements issued by publishers. A brief negotiation of the terms of your author agreement can have a big impact on how you can share and authorize re-use of your works. How does this work?

  • Don't click "I agree" without reading the agreement first. Pause and consider next steps before agreeing to the publisher's terms. You must make any desired changes before you agree!
  • Options for negotiating your agreement:
    • Contact the editor for a conversation about amending the agreement.
    • Edit the agreement prior to signing and returning.
    • Attach a standard addendum that changes the terms of the agreement; edit the agreement to state "subject to the attached amendment.".

Remember, even if the publisher does not immediately accept your changes, editing or amending an agreement is a way to start the conversation about your rights as an author.

What rights should I look for in my author agreement?

  • As an author, you own (or co-own) copyright in text and images you (or a group) create. These copyrights are yours until you sign them away in an agreement or place a license on them that gives others some of those rights. 
  • Why this can become a problem: a traditional publication agreement does not allow the author to reuse sections of articles in later works, share the work with a class, or post a version of the article in an open access repository.
  • For a review of copyright in different academic situations, please see the Sheridan Libraries Copyright guide
  • Creative Commons offers authors and creators licenses they can place on their work to give others certain rights. 

You don’t have to pay to go OA! 

Share for free by following publisher policies to deposit your preprint in an archive:

Sharing freely by depositing a preprint in an archive is legal, ethical, and complies with federal agency grant mandates.

The scholarly publications marketplace, like any other economy, is sometimes prey to scams. Using Think Check Submit can help you navigate your selections of publisher, journal title, publication model, and more. 

Relying on watchlists can be problematic, since the criteria for inclusion or exclusion is sometimes murky. The Think Check Submit tool walks you through a series of questions to determine the suitability of a publisher for yourself.

Update and share your scholarly author profiles to make sure all your work is discoverable and correctly linked to you and your other work. Here are four places to check to make sure your personal information, affiliation information, and list of publications is correct: