Learn about your rights as an author.

Authors earn copyright as soon as they publish scholarly works. Know your rights and learn how to retain copyright and legally share your publications.

Author Rights

You earn a copyright in your scholarly writing or other projects as soon as you create it. As the copyright owner, you and any co-authors have the sole discretion as to how and when to use these rights. However, most traditional, pay-to-read scholarly publishers require you to sign over all of these rights to them, meaning you no longer own the copyright in your work.

How to Retain Your Copyright

Traditional publishers inform authors how they may share their research. For example, see how Wiley allows authors to share their articles. Rather than signing away copyright when publishing in a traditional journal, authors can submit contract addendums in order to retain their copyright. Creative Commons has created sample contract addendums you can use to help you in negotiations. University Libraries can also provide assistance as authors navigate these negotiations. Please see our Open Access and Scholarly Communication guides.

Consider Open Access (OA) Publishing

OA is an international movement to change the ways in which scholarship is disseminated. Unlike traditional publishing models, the Open Access movement seeks to make free and legal online access to research available to anyone with an internet connection. Adelphi University’s Faculty Senate recently passed an OA resolution. Please see our Open Access and Scholarly Communication guides.

Many OA journals use Creative Commons licenses to ensure authors retain their full copyright while giving everyone legal permission to use the works in author-approved ways.

Share Legal Copies of Your Work

Publishing in OA journals or depositing permitted research assets in a publicly available repository—such as Adelphi Scholarly Works or a disciplinary repository—increases authors’ reputations as more scholars can access and cite published works that are not behind a subscription or paywall. 


Digital Publishing Librarian

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Swirbul Library
  • Swirbul Library: May 17-28 & August 12-23 Mon-Fri: 7:30 am – 6:00 pm Sat-Sun: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
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