Your Copyright: Increase the Impact of Your Research

Information for SBU authors

Why retain rights?

  • Many publishers create significant barriers for authors who want to reuse or share their work, and for access to that work by others. Negotiating changes to standard publisher agreements can help authors avoid these obstacles, thus increasing options for authors as well as readership, citation, and impact of the work itself. (Openly available articles have been shown to be more heavily cited.)
  • Publishers routinely change the agreements they ask authors to sign. If you have not secured rights you want as an author, the publisher may alter its practices over time.
  • Making research and scholarship as widely available as possible supports SBU’s mission “to carry out research and intellectual endeavors of the highest international standards that advance knowledge and have immediate or long-range practical significance.”
  • Some research funders request or require that work created with their funds be made available openly on the web. Their policies can be reviewed at the “Juliet” site. Other institutions also have open access policies or mandates.

Which rights to retain?

  • SBU authors are often most interested in retaining rights to:
    • Reuse their work in teaching, future publications, and in all scholarly and professional activities.
    • Post their work on the web (sometimes referred to as “self-archiving”) e.g. in Academic Commons, SBU’s research repository; in a discipline archive (such as PubMed Central or arXiv ; or on a web page.

How to retain rights?

  • Authors should specify the rights they want to retain, as most publishers do not extend these rights to authors in their standard agreements.
  • One simple way to retain rights is to use the Copyright Amendment Form.
  • This form enables authors to continue using their publications in their academic work; to deposit them into SBU Academic Commons; and to deposit them into any discipline-based research repository (including PubMed Central, the National Library of Medicine’s database for NIH-funded manuscripts).

Which publishers are likely to be flexible about these rights?

  • Publisher policies and agreements vary considerably. The “Romeo” database offers a convenient summary of many publisher copyright policies & self-archiving.
  • Publisher policies and agreements are usually linked from the author information or article submission section of a journal’s website.
  • Publisher policies change over time, and the terms stated on their websites often vary from the terms of their actual agreements, so it is important to read the agreement itself.

Where do I go with questions about these issues?


some content by Ellen Duranceau / CC BY SA