Scholarly Communication and Publishing

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Steps for authors in managing your copyright

  1. Anticipate your future needs to use the materials
    • Consider how you or others will need to use your work in the future and request reasonable rights for yourself and your institution.
    • Some basic rights you should try to reserve are:
      • Use for teaching purposes – in classroom, distance education, and lectures or seminars
      • Posting to your personal website and/or to an institutional or subject repository (e.g. MINDS@UW, PubMedCentral for NIH grantees)
      • Sharing with colleagues
      • Making derivative works
  2. Understand the publication agreement and the rights it gives you as an author
    • Before signing the publication agreement read the fine print.
    • Ask questions to make sure you understand what rights it gives you as an author.
    • Consult with the UW-Madison Libraries who can help you understand the implications of the rights outlined in the publication agreement.
  3. Negotiate with the publisher to retain the rights you need
    • Do not be afraid to negotiate.  Publishers are interested in your work and are often used to getting such request.
    • Use the tools below, which outline your options for managing copyright and resources that may facilitate your negotiations and consult with the Libraries for assistance.
    • If the publisher says “no”, make sure you understand why and then you can weigh your options: consider negotiating fewer rights for yourself, accept the agreement as it stands or consider another publisher.  You must do what is right for you.

Need assistance managing your copyright?

Steps for managing your copyright

  1. Anticipate your future needs to use the material
  2. Understand the publication agreement & the rights it gives you as an author
  3. Negotiate with the publisher

    ...and more

Options for managing your copyright

  1. Transfer your copyright
  2. Retain specific rights you need to do your work, but otherwise transfer copyright
  3. Retain ownership of the copyright and grant specific rights to publishers so that they can do business as needed

    ...and more

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