Authors own the copyright in their articles unless some or all of those rights are transferred through a publishing agreement. Many journal publishers request a full copyright transfer while allowing authors to retain certain rights to reuse articles. For more information on copyright, see the VCU Libraries guides on Copyright for Faculty and Copyright for Graduate Students.
Authors can negotiate with publishers to retain rights that are not a part of the standard publishing agreement. Some rights authors may want to retain include:
If you transferred your copyright to the publisher, your right to re-use the article or to make it openly available online may be restricted. To determine your rights, take the following steps:
Many open access publications are made available under Creative Commons licenses. Creative Commons licenses do not replace copyright but work alongside it, allowing you to keep your copyrights while permitting others to make certain uses of your work. You can choose to permit or deny commercial (for profit) uses of your work and modification of your work and choose whether or not modified versions have to be licensed under the same terms.