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Getting published: Author rights

Author rights

Authors are often unsure what rights they retain when signing a publisher agreement for a journal article.  Our Bodleian iSkills workshop iSkills:  Authors, copyright and open access covers the key issues.



If publishing traditional route

  • You sign a Copyright Transfer Agreement or a Licence to Publish (Exclusive or Non-Exclusive)
  • No author payment; published article only available to subscribers.
  • Key question: What is the self-archiving policy for institutional repositories (e.g. ORA)? (green route OA)
  • Can you make the Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) freely available via ORA (possibly after an embargo period)?

If publishing OA (‘gold route’), either in a fully OA journal or a ‘hybrid’ one

  • Your article will be published freely available immediately
  • Often with a Creative Commons licence
  • Author retains copyright
  • Key question: Which CC licence to choose?
  • CC-BY (Creative Commons Attribution) mandatory if funder paying APC

Publishing agreements and permissions

  • What am I signing?
  • What do I need to do?
  • Which are suitable for funder/REF requirements

Useful links

Workshops & classes


Open Access Helpdesk

Research Data helpline

ORA Team

Symplectic Elements team