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Sep 30 / scholarscooperative

Keep in Mind Your Author Rights

Publishing can represent years of hard work and painstaking labor.  As author, you possess numerous rights to your work before AND after its publication. It’s important to remember these rights because you will probably use your research after its publication, whether it be making it available in courses, remixing/reusing it in future research, et cetera.  Therefore, when you do publish your research, keep in mind the following words from the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC):

  • The author is the copyright holder. As the author of a work you are the copyright holder unless and until you transfer the copyright to someone else in a signed agreement.
  • Assigning your rights matters. Normally, the copyright holder possesses the exclusive rights of reproduction, distribution, public performance, public display, and modification of the original work. An author who has transferred copyright without retaining these rights must ask permission unless the use is one of the statutory exemptions in copyright law.
  • The copyright holder controls the work. Decisions concerning use of the work, such as distribution, access, pricing, updates, and any use restrictions belong to the copyright holder. Authors who have transferred their copyright without retaining any rights may not be able to place the work on course Web sites, copy it for students or colleagues, deposit the work in a public online archive, or reuse portions in a subsequent work. That’s why it is important to retain the rights you need.
  • Transferring copyright doesn’t have to be all or nothing. The law allows you to transfer copyright while holding back rights for yourself and others.

(Text reproduced from; bolding has been added for emphasis)


For more information concerning author rights, contact the Scholars Cooperative at or visit our site:


Further Reading: