Skip to Main Content

Institutional Repository Services

Copyright Transfer Agreement Checklist

Publication always involves the exercise of copyrights. Whether you are vetting potential publishers for a new work or reviewing the terms under which you previously published a work, it is important to understand the copyright terms. Understanding and protecting your copyrights is especially important to preserve your right to self-archive and distribute your work in an open-access repository, like Digital Commons@Georgia Southern, or in your SelectedWorks profile.

Use the library's Copyright Transfer Agreement Checklist to evaluate any publisher's copyright transfer agreement (CTA), either before or after you publish. If you have any questions about how to interpret a CTA or use the checklist, contact the Digital Commons Team.


General Rights
Does the CTA protect the following general rights? Note any restrictions.
 

___ Right to transmit, print, and share copies with colleagues
Some sharing is common, but restrictions can vary greatly.

Restrictions:    _______________________

 

___ Right to use in teaching or training
Can you use your work for course packs, e-reserves, presentations at conferences, or distance learning?

Restrictions:    _______________________

 

___ Right to reuse in other publications
Look for any restrictions on the amount that you can reuse verbatim.

Restrictions:    _______________________

 

___ Right to create derivative works
Can you revise or translate your work for publication?

Restrictions:    _______________________


 

Self-Archiving Rights
Does the CTA protect your right to self-archive and distribute a copy of your work via a personal website or an open-access institutional repository, such as Digital Commons@Georgia Southern? Such rights typically are granted based on the version of the work (i.e., pre-prints, post-prints, and published versions).
 

Pre-Prints
Self-archiving rights often granted; less desirable, but better than nothing.

___ Right to self-archive
Are you granted any right to self-archive a pre-print, regardless of other restrictions?

 

___ Platform Restrictions
Does the publisher place any restrictions on the website or platform on which you can self-archive?

Restrictions:    _______________________

 

___ Embargo Restrictions
Does the publisher specify how many months after publication you must delay self-archiving?

Restrictions:    _______________________

 

___ Other Restrictions or Requirements
Does the publisher place any other restrictions on self-archiving pre-prints?

Restrictions:    _______________________
 

Post-Prints
Self-archiving rights are frequently granted following an embargo.

___ Right to self-archive
Are you granted any right to self-archive a pre-print, regardless of other restrictions?

 

___ Platform Restrictions
Does the publisher place any restrictions on the website or platform on which you can self-archive?

Restrictions:    _______________________

 

___ Embargo Restrictions
Does the publisher specify how many months after publication you must delay self-archiving?

Restrictions:    _______________________

 

___ Other Restrictions or Requirements
Does the publisher place any other restrictions on self-archiving pre-prints?

Restrictions:    _______________________
 

Published Version
Self-archiving rights are rarely granted, but this is the best-case scenario.

___ Right to self-archive
Are you granted any right to self-archive a pre-print, regardless of other restrictions?

 

___ Platform Restrictions
Does the publisher place any restrictions on the website or platform on which you can self-archive?

Restrictions:    _______________________

 

___ Embargo Restrictions
Does the publisher specify how many months after publication you must delay self-archiving?

Restrictions:    _______________________

 

___ Other Restrictions or Requirements
Does the publisher place any other restrictions on self-archiving pre-prints?

Restrictions:    _______________________
 

If the publisher retains all or so many rights that it will inhibit your ability to teach, conduct research, or author additional publications, consider the following options:

  • Request that the publisher add an addendum to your CTA that returns self-archiving or other desired rights to you. Consider using the SPARC Author Addendum.

  • If the publisher will not accept an addendum, request that the terms of your agreement or license be modified to permit self-archiving. 

  • If the publisher will accept a license to publish, consider licensing your work using a Creative Commons license, or use the publisher’s alternative license.

  • If the publisher will not work with you to restore your rights, you may be able to reclaim your copyright by sending a termination notice to the publisher and registering the termination with the U.S. Copyright Office.

Checklist adapted from Truesdell, C. (2012). Checklist for Reviewing Publisher Copyright Agreements.

 

For help, contact the Digital Commons Team at (912) 478-4056 or digitalcommons@georgiasouthern.edu. A member of the Digital Commons Team will contact you as soon as possible during regular business hours.