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Tracking Your Scholarly Research Impact

Learn how to measure the impact of your research

Your Work. Your Rights

Are you concerned about signing over YOUR copyrights to your scholarly research articles to traditional journal publishers?

There is another option!

When you sign a copyright transfer form, YOU decide which rights you want to keep, and which you want to give away.

The SPARC Author Addendum is a legal instrument that you can use to modify your copyright transfer agreements with non-open access journal publishers. It allows you to select which individual rights out of the bundle of copyrights you want to keep, such as:

  • Distributing copies in the course of teaching and research,
  • Posting the article on a personal or institutional Web site, or
  • Creating derivative works.

SPARC provides a full set of resources to help you learn more about your rights as an author, and the tools that are available to help you effectively manage your copyrights.

United States: Download the US SPARC Author Addendum (PDF)

Canada: Download the Canadian SPARC Author Addendum in English (PDF)

Authors' Rights: What and How Can You Share?

If you use Academia.eduResearchGate, or other social networking sites that allow and encourage you to share the full text of your publications with others, you have to be careful. If you've published in a traditional subscription journal you might have signed a copyright agreement that forbids the sharing of the final published version of the article. Publishers are starting to change and use more liberal agreements, but you still need to figure out what version of an article you can place on networking sites, in repositories, and even on your own web page, without violating copyright law. 

Step 1. Determining your rights on already-published materials

  • For articles, look up the journal in SHERPA/RoMEO, a database of journals' copyright and self-archiving policies. You'll be able to determine what version of the article can be posted and where it can be posted - if anywhere. 
  • For chapters and books, you'll need to look at your contract with the publisher or contact the publisher to ask what rights you have regarding sharing on the web. 

Step 2. As you move forward through your career, we encourage you to

  • Thoroughly read any copyright transfer agreements from publishers
  • Ask questions of your librarian and the publisher
  • Consider publishing in an open access platform that uses a CC-BY or other Creative Commons license that gives you and others the rights to reuse your work.

*Acknowledgement - The information in this box came from the Johns Hopkins Sheridan Libraries guide, Scholarly Metrics