Authors’ Rights

What are Your Rights as an Author?

Until you sign a legal agreement changing or transferring your rights, you and any co-authors hold copyright of your work. You have the right to distribute, publish, copy, and share your work. However, when your article is accepted for publication, you will be required to sign an author agreement. Frequently, a full transfer of your copyrights to the publisher is requested, thereby severely limiting your legal right to distribute, copy, and share your work.

What Can You Do?

Decide what Rights you want to Retain

Before signing any copyright transfer form, consider whether want to retain your copyright and license the work to the journal, or do you simply want permission to share the work in a repository like PDXScholar? Anything you sign with a publisher is a legally binding contract, so know what rights you’d like to have before you begin negotiating any contract. To this end, you can:

  • Find out what rights the journal usually provides by searching SHERPA/RoMEO for the default policies.
  • Negotiate directly with the publisher.
  • Attach a copyright addendum:

Archive Your Work in PDXScholar

Submit your work to PDXScholar, Portland State University’s Digital Repository. PDXScholar can ensure that your work will be archived, made freely available on the web, and findable via search engines such as Google Scholar.


For author’s rights questions, please contact your subject liaison.