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Copyright and Fair Dealing

What You Can Do to Retain Your Rights

During the process of getting published, many academics transfer their copyright and lose the right to share/copy their own work. Here is what you can do to retain your author rights:

1. Publish in journals that support open access e.g. those listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ).

2. Contribute your work to Mount Saint Vincent University's E-Commons.

3. Retain your copyright and understand your copyright options:

  • Publishers typically require authors to sign over their copyright though authors can often retain some rights to their work to make it more widely available. When negotiating publishing contract terms, consider altering the text to ensure open access for research and teaching. See the SPARC Canadian Author Addendum sample text.
  • Investigate other licensing options such as those afforded by Creative Commons licenses that provide a flexible range of protections and freedoms for authors, artists, and educators.
  • Be aware of publisher copyright and self-archiving policies before you publish. The SHERPA/RoMEO site provides a listing of publishers' copyright conditions as they relate to authors archiving their work on-line.

4. Get involved in reshaping scholarly communication:

  • Use your influence as author, editor, scholarly society member, and reviewer. Encourage reasonable journal pricing and discourage alliances with publishers who charge exorbitant prices. Use your position to influence publishers to promote reasonable pricing and open access.

Author Rights Video


This guide is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial License.
Creative Commons License

You may copy the guide for noncommercial purposes as long as credit is included. Please be aware that the guide may contain links to subscription based services for which access is restricted. We encourage you to license your derivative works under Creative Commons as well to encourage sharing and reuse of educational materials.