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Author Rights

A guide for our faculty, graduate students and others who publish works who work at the University of South Carolina.

Author Rights

As the author of a work, you retain the copyright to your work unless you assign it to someone else. All authors are granted a bundle of exclusive rights under copyright law: to reproduce, distribute, publicly perform, publicly display, and modify your original work.

Often academic authors sign copyright transfer agreements with publishers without fully understanding what rights they are relinquisihing, or even if it is necessary to do so. It is up to you to decide whether you will surrender all of your rights, some of them, or none of them to a publisher. If you would like build upon, reuse, or republish all or even part of your work, you should consider negotiating with your publisher before you sign your agreement.  You may want to negotiate to retain the rights to all or some of the following:

  • Copying your articles for distribution in class
  • Posting your work on your personal website
  • Distributing copies to your colleagues
  • Reusing portions or all of the work in future publications or
  • Add your research to our institutional repository

You have options available to you. You can investigate securing these Author Rights. An excellent way to negotiate your rights is through a copyright addendum.

Video Tutorials

Have you ever wondered who owns the copyright to the papers you’ve written, both before and after they’ve been published? Are you unsure how the author agreement process works when you publish in a journal? Through these self-paced modules, learn the basics of copyright ownership and how to understand and navigate journal publication agreements. You’ll also learn how you can archive and share your research after publication through repositories and sites such as ResearchGate. The final module will address how you can promote your research for maximum impact. 

  1. Copyright Basics
  2. Understanding the Publication Agreement
  3. Negotiations and Addendums
  4. Post-publication: Archiving your Work
  5. Post-publication: Promoting and Sharing your Research

Prefer to learn through an in-person session? Contact to set up a workshop.

Additional Resources