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Open Access: Taking control of your author rights

What are your author rights?

As an author, you own copyright to your work the moment you fix it in a tangible medium of expression. You retain that copyright until you give some or all of it away.  

Open access and copyright

Open access is compatible with copyright. 
Authors of open access works retain the right to:

  • make copies of their work
  • distribute their work in any form they want to anyone they want
  • create derivative works  based upon their pre-existing works
  • perform or display  their works  publicly
  • grant any of these rights to anyone they want

New to copyright?
Visit the SU Libraries copyright guide.


Author rights tools

SPARC Author Rights


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Key terms

A "bundle" of exclusive rights, which include reproduction of works; distribution of copies; public performance and display of works; and making of derivative works.

Author addendum
An added agreement to a publisher's standard copyright transfer agreement that, if accepted, allows the author to retain  certain rights to his/her work. 

Restricting access to a work for a specific period of time before making it freely available. 

Exclusive license
A license which gives someone the exclusive right to exploit the agreed upon intellectual property rights. 

Non-exclusive license
A license which gives someone permission to exercise certain rights while enabling the copyright owner to continue exercising these rights and/or to authorize others to do so.

Revocable license
A license that may be terminated by the licensor at any time during the term of the license agreement, with or without cause.

Irrevocable license
A license that cannot be terminated by the licensor.

About this page

Please note that the information on this page is not meant to be a substitute for legal advice. 

For assistance, contact Bea Hardy, Dean of LIbraries