SHERPA/RoMEO: Publishers’ Copyright Policies and Self-Archiving

If you have written an article and have had it accepted for publication, you might have signed a publisher’s agreement or a publisher’s copyright agreement.  Did you read it carefully?  In such an agreement, the publisher may have placed restrictions on the posting of your article (sometimes referred to as self-archiving) on web pages such as a university’s departmental web page, in an institutional repository like MINDS@UW-River Falls, or even on a personal web page.  So if you put your article freely on the web, you may be in violation of that publisher’s agreement.

How can you be sure?  The best method to avoid conflict is to talk to your publisher before posting materials online and read your publisher’s agreement very carefully!  Some publisher’s agreements even ask you to transfer your rights as a copyright holder to the publisher.  So talk to your publisher before signing the agreement and ask them questions about your rights.  If you would like to learn more about your rights as an author, check out some of the articles found here.

Additionally, there is a helpful web site called SHERPA/RoMEO.  SHERPA/RoMEO isn’t a site where you can go to find a guide to the Himalayas.  Instead, it is a place to view publisher copyright policies and self-archiving policies for a variety of journals and publishers.  SHERPA-RoMEO is not a place to go for legal advice – it is the publisher of the journal that has the final say on whether or not you can post a copy of your article online.  SHERPA/RoMEO is a place to help you get started.

Have any questions?  Send Heidi Southworth a note and she can assist you.  Also, don’t forget about MINDS@UW-River Falls , the UWRF Institutional Repository.  MINDS@UW-River Falls serves as a place where the scholarly output of the university is organized into one central location.  This scholarly output can include a variety of materials from post-print articles published in journals to newsletter articles and posters and papers.  Talk to Heidi if you are interested in setting up your collection today!

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