Last Updated: Dec 6, 2015
Columbia University Copyright Advirsory Office Director Kenneth Crews shares with author(s) in this 5 minute video "to carefully read publication agreements, negotiate for your rights, and keep a copy of all the agreements".
An author amendment was approved by the University of Nebraska Medical Center Faculty Senate April 2010. All authors of the University of Nebraska are welcome to attach this amendment to their publisher agreements or copyright transfer. It is not a requirement, but a recommendation for authors to retain key rights. The prime purpose of the amendment is to help authors who are uncomfortable negotiating contract terms with publishers. Because the amendment is merely a proposed contract modification, a publisher may accept or reject it.
Suggested Instructions for using the UNMC Author Amendment Form
1. Print out, sign and date the Author Amendment. The corresponding author can sign on behalf of all authors.
2. Staple the Author Amendment to the publisher’s agreement or copyright transfer form.
3. Write “Subject to attached amendment” below your signature on the publisher’s copyright transfer or publication agreement form. This phrase along with your signature serves to inform the publisher that you accept the publisher’s agreement only if the publisher accepts the attached Author Amendment.
4. Make copies of all the forms for your records.
Many authors do not realize that when they sign an agreement with a publisher to publish their articles that they also shift their copyright to the publisher as well. Retaining your rights as an author is important to ensure you can use your writings in teaching or as a foundation for future publications. Attaching an author addendum to the publisher agreement will help ensure you retain the rights you need.
The following are examples of author addendums provided at other Universities indicating instituional support.
- SPARC Author Addendum
A free resource developed by SPARC in partnership with Creative Commons and Science Commons. The SPARC Author Addendum is a legal instrument that modifies the publisher's agreement and allows you to keep key rights to your articles.
- University of Michigan
University of Michigan created a model addendum to meet the needs of U-M faculty and students. To use it, their faculty and staff simply attach it to the agreement sent by the publisher, sign, and return it along with the original agreement. They are also encouraged to include a note alerting the publisher that it's there.
- Author Addenda
This is a list of author addenda. An author addendum is a proposed modification to a publisher's standard copyright transfer agreement. If accepted, it would allow the author to retain key rights, especially the right to authorize Open Access. The purpose is to help authors who are uncomfortable negotiating contract terms with publishers."
- Science Commons: Scholar's Copyright Agreement
"The Scholar's Copyright Addendum" provides an online form to generate a PDF form that can be attached to a journal publisher's copryight agreement to retain certain author rites.
Authors routinely sign publishing agreements that transfer copyright to the publisher, eliminating the author's ability to submit the article or manuscript as required by law. As an author, you need to make sure that you retain the rights to upload either the published version or the final manuscript version of your article.
- SPARC Author Rights
This initiative provides an informative website including the SPARC Author Addendum. A legal instrument that modifies the publisher’s agreement and allows you to keep key rights to your articles. The Author Addendum is a free resource developed by SPARC in partnership with Creative Commons and Science Commons established non-profit organizations that offer a range of copyright options for many different creative endeavors.
- NIH Public Access Policy
The NIH Public Access Policy ensures that the public has access to the published results of NIH-funded research. It requires scientists to submit final peer-reviewed journal manuscripts that arise from NIH funds to the digital archive PubMed Central upon acceptance for publication. To help advance science and improve human health, the Policy requires that these papers are accessible to the public on PubMed Central no later than 12 months after publication.
- PubMed Central
PubMed Central® (PMC) is a free archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature at the U.S. National Institutes of Health's National Library of Medicine (NIH/NLM).
- NIH Manuscript Submission System
NIH Manuscript Submission System provides submission information to ensure your publishing agreement allows the paper to be posted to PubMed Central in accordance with the NIH Public Access Policy.
- NIH Public Access Frequently Asked Questions
For more information regarding the NIH Public Access Policy, peruse the FAQ.
- Author's Rights, Tout de Suite by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.
Author's Rights, Tout de Suite by Charles W. Bailey, Jr. provides a quick introduction to key aspects of authors' rights, and supplies addiitonal information through relevant references to online documents and links to pertinent Web sites.