Then say hello to the SPARC Author Addendum – http://www.sparc.arl.org/resources/authors/addendum
Your article has been accepted for publication in a journal and, like your colleagues, you want it to have the widest possible distribution and impact in the scholarly community. In the past, this required print publication. Today you have other options, like online archiving, but the publication agreement you’ll likely encounter will actually prevent broad distribution of your work.
It is unlikely that you would knowingly keep your research from a readership that could benefit from it, but signing a restrictive publication agreement limits your scholarly universe and lessens your impact as an author.
Why? According to the traditional publication agreement, all rights —including copyright — go to the journal. You probably want to include sections of your article in later works. You might want to give copies to your class or distribute it among colleagues. And you are likely to want to place it on your staff profile page and in BU’s institutional repository (BURO, especially as this is now a requirement for the next REF exercise – see this post for further information). These are all ways to give your research wide exposure and fulfill your goals as a scholar, but they are inhibited by the traditional agreement. If you sign on the publisher’s dotted line, is there any way to retain these critical rights?
Yes. The SPARC Author Addendum is a legal instrument that modifies the publisher’s agreement and allows you to keep key rights to your articles. The Author Addendum is a free resource developed by SPARC in partnership with Creative Commons and Science Commons, established non-profit organizations that offer a range of copyright options for many different creative endeavors.
Visit the SPARC website for further information – http://www.sparc.arl.org/resources/authors/addendum
Have you got any experience of using this to negotiate your rights as an author with publishers? Share your experiences by contributing to the Research Blog!