An important component of open access is understanding that authors have rights to the work that they produce, and should retain them when possible. In the US, authors automatically have copyright to original work they produce, but often a publisher will require that an author transfer copyright to the publishing organization. This leaves the publisher in charge of how that article will be disseminated or distributed.
What are my options?
Addenda: An agreement with a publisher is a contract, and contracts can be amended. Some great tools for helping you generate publishing contact addenda arethe SPARC addendum, or the Creative Commons addendum engine.
Know what rights you retain: If you transfer your copyright to a publisher, read your agreement carefully to find out what rights as an author you retain. In many cases, publishers that request copyright transfer grant back some rights of distribution to the author. If you would like a right that you don’t see in your publishing agreement, ask for it. A great tool for finding out standard rights retention for journal titles is Sherpa Romeo.
Publish in an open access journal: Check the https://doaj.org/ for open access journals in your field. Open access journals are widely available, and most publishers and professional societies publish open access titles. Usually Open Access journals will ask you to assign your work a Creative Commons license. A Creative Commons license will allow free reuse of your work while assuring attribution.
Publish in a hybrid journal: A so-called “hybrid” open access journal is a typical subscription based journal that will also publish peer reviewed open access journals for an author fee. Most of the large commercial publishers have hybrid journal titles.
How does the OA Policy help preserve my author rights?
Per the GT Open Access policy, faculty can submit a peer-reviewed author manuscript version (sometimes called a “post print”) of their own scholarly articles to SMARTech, the library’s institutional repository. You can submit via the SMARTech submission form, or contact the repository team with any questions.