The copyright transfer contract that an author is asked to sign need not be the final agreement. Authors can attach addendums to secure their rights and ensure they do not inadvertently lose rights they desire to keep. To facilitate this, the University of Michigan has produced an Author’s Addendum which can be attached to publishing contracts. Secured rights include the ability to deposit a copy of the article/manuscript in Deep Blue, to use the article for non-commercial, educational purposes, and to post a copy on the author’s personal website. If you have questions about using the Author’s Addendum, email email@example.com. Click the PDF below to download a copy.
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 the right to post the paper on your personal webpage or the right to distribute a certain number of PDF copies to colleagues in lieu of offprints.
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. Below is a model addendum prepared at the University of Michigan to meet the needs of U-M faculty and students. To use it, simply attach it to the agreement sent by the publisher, sign, and return it along with the original agreement. You should also include a note alerting the publisher that it's there.
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.
NIH Public Access Policy Compliance
The following brief addendum applies in the special case where your only concern is compliance with the NIH Public Access Policy:
The research embodied in this article was conducted with grant support from the United States National Institutes of Health (NIH). In order to comply with NIH regulations, issued pursuant to U.S. federal law, the Author hereby reserves the right to deposit this paper in PubMed Central, a public open access digital repository, subject to an embargo period not to exceed twelve months from the date of publication.
After you publish your article, you may want to know how it has impacted the scientific community. Using these tools, you can keep track of how many citations your article has received, who has cited your article, and your overall research impact.
Your research productivity and impact can be measured using the h-index. An index of h means that your h most highly cited articles have at least h citations each.
Traditional metrics focus on citation counts. As social media plays a more important role in scholarly communication, alternative metrics ("altmetrics") are receiving more attention as measures of research impact. Click here to see examples from PlumAnalytics and ImpactStory.
Find more about almetrics here.
After your article is published, you may want to deposit thearticles or a peer-reviewed version of the manuscript to:
Deep Blue is the University of Michigan's permanent, safe, and accessible service for representing our rich intellectual community. Its primary goal is to provide access to the work that makes Michigan a leader in research, teaching, and creativity. Check DeepBlue site for instructions on how to deposit you articles and other research output to the repository.
Check the guide page on National Institutes of Health Public Access Policy (NIHPAP) for details on how to deposit your article or manuscript.
If you have transfered the copyright to the publisher and did not ask the publisher to sign the Author's Addendum, you may not be allowed to deposit the published article to either type of repository. Check the publisher's website for the Author's Rights page to determine their policies. Many publishers make special arrangement to allow and streamline the deposit of articles into PubMed Central. See this page for methods (Methods A-D) for depositing articles into PubMed Central. Also, this page lists publishers who will deposit articles into PubMed Central upon request. Pay attention to which version of the article/manuscript will be deposited and whether this involves a fee.
After your article is published, what do you do with the underlying data? Instead of letting your data go forgotten on your hard drive, you can turn them into citeable outputs or publications, which not only earns you additional credit but also allows your data to be re-used by other researchers in new ways.
Deposit your data into data repositories/archives.
There are hundreds of repositories for particular types of research data. These repositories typically make your data available to the public (or to a more restricted audience) and assign a digital object identifier (DOI) to persistently index your data. Search Databib, OpenDOAR, or re3data to find a good home for your data. When submitting your data to a data repository, you should include a "readme" file or other documentation that describes your data (i.e., How were data collected and processed? What do the column headers indicate? What are your units of measurement, etc.?) to ensure that your data will be meaningful to others.
Publish your data as a "data paper".
A new type of article called a "data paper" has emerged in recent years. Data papers provide a detailed descriptions of publically available datasets with high re-use potential. Browse Preparde's list of "data journals" for a growing number of peer-reviewed journals that publish data papers.
Now, others can cite your data.
After you have deposited your data in a data repository or published a data paper, others can cite your data much like a regular journal article. For instance . . .
Elena SF, Lenski RE (1997) Data from: Test of synergistic interactions among deleterious mutations in bacteria. Dryad Digital Repository. doi:10.5061/dryad.rg8mb
Vanni MJ, Renwick WH, Gonzalez MJ (2013) Nutrient and sediment concentrations in three agriculturally-impacted streams over a 15-year period. Ecology, 94: 978; Ecological Archives E094-085.
You can track citations to your data using Data Citation Index (available through UM subscription).