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Scholarly Communications at Georgia Southern University

Resources and services to support faculty and graduate students' scholarly work from conception to publication and promotion

Copyright Issues

Copyright Issues
All authors, whether they are a faculty member publishing a monograph, a grant funded researcher publishing a scholarly article, or a graduate student writing a dissertation, need to be familiar with the basic concepts of copyright and have an awareness of the options for publishing, posting, archiving and distributing their scholarship. Many scholars, including teaching faculty, are not well-versed in these issues and therefore not equipped to educate students who they may be similarly advising. 
When publishing, authors are presented with a contract or copyright transfer agreement (CTA) drafted by the publisher. Many of these publisher drafted agreements transfer copyright fully to the publisher thereby restricting an author's subsequent usage of his or her published work, including reuse of the work in teaching and further research.  After transferring copyright to the publisher, the author generally has little say in how the work is later used. The result, all too often, is that contracts restrict the dissemination of one’s scholarship, and the author's impact is lessened

What if you want to share your work with colleague or students? 

Accordingly, authors should take care to assign the rights to their work in a manner that permits them and their students and colleagues to use their work in teaching, research and other purposes. Transferring copyright doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Publishers only need the right of first publication, not a wholesale transfer of copyright. So, a compromise is often desirable, which authors can accomplish through an appropriate addendum.

One option is to consider a Creative Commons license which gives you a variety of options for determining how you will share your creative and scholarly works.


Other considerations involve depositing your work on platforms or repositories in which you can self-archive your Scholarly and Creative Works. View our support page under Institutional Repository Services addressing Copyright and Repositories.


[Portions of this page adapted from the  ACRL Scholarly Communication Toolkit ( and are being made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike (CC-BY-NC-SA) license]