Authors actively looking to write or publish a manuscript need to understand copyright, licensing, and author rights.
Copyright law is complex and often convoluted. It is important to have a basic knowledge of its limitations for both creators and users. From the very moment of fixed creation, your work has copyright whether it is officially registered or not. Licenses are a way of stating exactly which rights you wish to keep or release.
Tradition has assumed the signing over of the author’s rights to gain access to the publishing process; however, this is no longer the case. The shifting landscape of scholarly publishing is creating new paradigms that allow content creators more say in how and when their creations can be used and presented. Authors should understand that the rights belong to them from the beginning and now have a precedent in negotiating these rights to their best advantage.
See the list of resources below, which will aid in your pre- and post-publication decisions regarding the protection of your original work.
Authors who retain copyright can designate acceptable uses with Creative Commons licenses. These licenses clarify limitations and permissions for publication and use of your work.
It is important to know what rights you retain to your work after publication: Are you able to share a copy of your manuscript with friends? Can you legally post a copy on your webpage? The website SHERPA/RoMEO records author rights information for journals and publishers, allowing you to find out what rights you will have before you even submit the manuscript.