Authors, copyright and open access

Thank you to everyone who attended our new session last week on Authors, copyright and open access, where we aimed to help authors understand their licensing options, make informed decisions, and know what they can deposit into ORA. The slides are now available on the iSkills Handouts page. We’re planning a repeat in October which will allow us to address some of the great questions raised last time. Watch this space for date of next session.

The topic is obviously in the zeitgeist because last week also saw an interesting blogpost from Ernesto Priego (City University London), On Reading the Small Print When It’s Too Late, which encourages authors to be more aware of and potentially negotiate the licensing and access for their publications.

What does this have to do with open access? He says ‘Open Access is not only about bringing down the barriers to access and reuse of scholarly publications. Behind it lies the desire to re-connect scholars with the fruits of their own work and to empower them to choose how they want their work to be published (and this implies choosing the conditions for their distribution, accessibility, and reuse).’

Also last week came this blogpost from editing and publishing services company INLEXIO on Author copyright in the age of Open Access, delving into some of the issues around who owns what and when in Open Access publishing. It concludes ‘Understanding a publisher’s requirements and their implications should be an important part of the authors’ decision on where to publish their work.’

In a 2012 blogpost Martin Eve (Open Library of Humanities) encouraged greater awareness among authors with regards to copyright transfer in Signing over copyright vs. licensing your journal articles.

On the issue of author amendments to publisher agreements, the SPARC Author Addendum and the JISC/SURF Copyright toolbox include sample wording for authors to assist in determining the rights which are important to them. Oxford hasn’t produced an author addendum of its own, but some other UK universities have.

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