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Faculty Publishing

What are Copyrights?

As the creator of a work, you have the following rights:

Reproduction - You control the right to reproduce the work. 

Distribution - You control the right to license, sell, or share a work. 

Derivatives - You are able to modify or use parts of the work in another creation or transform an existing work into a new medium 

Performance - You are able to control the public performance of a work (the viewing of a film in a public setting)

Public Display - You are able to control the public display of a work (the display of a graphic or image in a public setting)

Digital Audio Transmission of Sound Recordings - You are able to perform a sound recording publicly by means of a digital audio transmission.

Source: 17 USC 106.

Know Your Rights as the Author

This information adapted from 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 Websites, 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.   

Think about Retaining Your Rights as the Author

This information adapted from SPARC.

 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.  Some available options:

Advice on SPARC Author Addendum or Creative Commons License

What if the Publisher Rejects the Author Addendum or Creative Commons License?
This information taken from SPARC.

  • Explain to the publisher why it is important for you to retain the rights to your own work.
  • Ask the publisher to articulate why the license rights provided under the SPARC Author Addendum or Creative Commons license are insufficient to allow publication.
  • Evaluate the adequacy of the publisher’s response in light of the reasonable and growing need for authors to retain certain key rights to their works.
  • Consider publishing with an organization that will facilitate the widest dissemination of their authors’ works, to help them fulfill their personal and professional goals as scholars.


Author Pre-Print version  - a pre-print is defined as the author copy PRIOR to any peer-review – [usually the initial submission for publication].

Author Post-Print version - a post print is defined as the author copy POST peer review but PRIOR to any publisher formatting, copyediting, pagination, etc.

Publisher PDF version -  the publisher PDF is the actual article as it appeared in the publication.  All peer-review, formatting, copyediting and pagination has been included.

What is Creative Commons?

Get Creative by Creative Commons is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (CC BY) license.

Conditions for a Creative Commons License

Attribution Attribution (by) - Others who use your work must give you credit the way you request.

ShareAlike ShareAlike (sa) - Others may copy, distribute, display, perform, and modify your work, as long as they distribute any modified work on the same terms. 

NonCommercial NonCommercial (nc) - Others can only use your work for non-commercial purposes.

NoDerivatives NoDerivatives (nd) - Other can use your as it exists; they cannot make modifications to it. 


Creative Commons Licenses

CC License Freedom Scale Chart by Foter and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike license. 

Number of Creative Commons Licenses

State of the Commons 2017 by Creative Commons. LIcensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike license.