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Research Guides
Western Carolina University

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Know Your Rights!

Wait - don't sign away your copyright to the publisher!

Did you know? Unless addressed in the transfer agreement, you may be forbidden by the publisher to do the following:

  • Post the work to your own web site or to a disciplinary online archive
  • Copy the work for distribution to students
  • Use the work as the basis for future articles or other works
  • Give permission for the work to be used in classes
  • Grant permission to faculty and students at other universities to use the material

Learn more at the Cornell Copyright Information Center

Negotiating a Copyright Agreement

By using an addendum to the publisher's contract, an author can negotiate their rights in several key areas: 

  • The extent of the author's ability to continue to use the copyrighted work even after the transfer of copyright to a publisher, including the ability of the author to make copies of the work or prepare new works based on the copyrighted work.
  • The author's ability to authorize others to use the work.
  • Whether and when the author's institution can make any use of the work.
  • Whether and when the author's funding agency can make use of the work.
  • When and under what circumstances, if any, people at other institutions can use the work.
  • What legal protections are available to the author. 


Adding an addendum is simple to do:

  1. Sign your publisher’s copyright transfer or publication agreement when you submit your final manuscript for publication with the following statement written above your signature: “subject to attached amendment.”
  2. Attach the amendment you generate, with the information filled in and your signature on the bottom.
  3. Send both to publisher


UCLA Copyright Negotiation Presentation