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Open Access

Contact open@brown.edu for assistance with questions regarding open access

Before signing an author copyright/publication agreement

In non-open access publishing models authors are often asked to sign over their copyright to their work to the journal/publisher. The publisher covers the cost of the publication and then charges readers money to access your work, either via subscriptions or a per-article purchase fee (also called a paywall). The journal/publisher usually receives 100% of these financial proceeds in cases of an article and all or some percentage in the case of a monograph. However, signing over copyright does not have to be all or nothing. Authors can at least ask their publisher for permission to retain certain rights before signing, such as using your own work for teaching purposes, for posting the work or a  version of the work on your personal website or depositing and disseminating the work for free, global access via your institution's online repository, for creating a translation and/or derivative work in the future, among others. Contact open@brown.edu for assistance with understanding self-archiving conditions in a publication agreement.

The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) offers an online addendum form for authors to adapt and fill out to request certain permissions, such as the ability to self-archive a copy of their work on their personal websites and in their institution's repository, to send to journal/publishers before signing the author publication and copyright agreement. The online form is available for download from: https://sparcopen.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Access-Reuse_Addendum.pdf. Authors receiving permission to self-archive can then deposit their manuscript in the BDR using the upload tool available at https://repository.library.brown.edu/studio/upload/ or by contacting the BDR at bdr@brown.edu for assistance.

Author rights you may want to ask to retain

  • Use the work/part of the work in your thesis or dissertation
  • Make physical and/or digital copies of the work/part of the work and freely disseminate these copies to students for teaching purposes
  • Post online by depositing and disseminating the work or a version of the work (pre-peer review (pre-print) and/or final post-peer reviewed author manuscript) for free, global access via your institution's online repository (called Green Open Access or Self-Archiving)
  • Post the work or a version of the work on your personal website
  • Create and publish a translation and/or other derivative work in the future