Copyright Transfer Agreements

Some publishers require the transfer of the exclusive copyright from the author(s) to the publisher. This can include the transfer of all rights to share and re-use even one‘s own work. Learn here how to retain your rights.

In brief

  • Some journals might ask for transfer of the exclusive copyright from the author(s) to the publisher
  • Copyright transfer can go along with transfer of the right to share, re-use and archive even the own article
  • Ready-made addenda can be used to retain copyright as author(s)

Journal Publishing Agreements

Whether the publisher requires the transfer of rights is specified in the Journal Publishing Agreements (JPA). Typical formulations are, for example, "I hereby assign the full/exclusive copyright to (the publisher) (...)".

Usually, there is no transfer of rights for most Open Access publications. However, this can occur in some cases. Therefore, it is strongly advised to read and understand the JPAs thoroughly before signing them.

Modify copyright transfer

To retain copyright as an author or group of authors, critical topics in the JPA such as „exclusive“ transfer of „all“ rights should be modified. Alternatively, a ready-made addendum can be enclosed:

Note that acceptance of changes or addenda may require written consent by the publisher.

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