Whenever one of your papers is accepted for publication, the editor of the journal (or conference proceedings or book compilation) will send you an agreement to sign. It may be called a "copyright transfer agreement" or a "publishing contract" or an "Author's Agreement," but they are all essentially the same thing. It is probably a confusingly worded legal document that will require that you transfer your copyright to the publisher. It may also include details of payment, if any, or provisions that permit you to use your work in certain ways, such as making copies for teaching purposes.
In many cases, there will be rights that you would like to have that are not included in the standard agreement, such as:
One good way to obtain these rights is to add an addendum to the agreement you sign setting out terms that are important to you. The University of Michigan has prepared an addendum to meet the needs of U-M faculty and students. To use it, simply:
If you are lucky, the publisher will accept it without objection or with minor adjustments. However, if the publisher insists that no changes can be made to the original agreement, it is up to you to decide whether you still wish to publish with that journal, even if you can't keep all of the rights you want.
Self-archiving is the act of storing a version of your published paper on a personal website or institutional repository, such as Deep Blue, in order to make it freely available to the public. By self-archiving published or pre-print versions of papers, author's retain the freedom to publish in the journal of their choosing while still making a free version available.
Attach the U-M Author's Addendum to publishing contracts to secure certain distribution and re-use rights and ensure you do not inadvertently lose rights you desire to keep. The rights secured include:
If you have questions about using the Author’s Addendum, feel free to email us at email@example.com.