How does copyright concern me as a researcher or scholar?
As the author of a work, you are the copyright holder unless and until you transfer your copyright to someone else in a signed agreement.
Copyright owners have a number of exclusive rights, including:
If you have included content where the copyright is owned by someone other than yourself (i.e. diagram, text, photograph) you do not necessarily have the right to re-use that material without first seeking permission.
Institutional repositories are one of the strategies currently being adopted by scholarly communities around the globe to ensure maximum access to research literature. Some publishers allow works to be stored in open access institutional repositories such as the University of South Australia's Research Outputs Repository (ROR). Other publishers permit such practice but with restrictions such as:
You should always seek to retain the right to include your published work in the University’s research repository.
Consider publishing in an open access journal which is fully peer-reviewed and where you retain all rights for future use. Additional information about open access publishing can be found at the Open Access Guide
A Publisher requires only your permission to publish your paper, not the wholesale transfer of your rights as author.
Therefore, before you sign, scrutinize your Agreement and consider:
When you submit your work to a publisher, you will be asked to sign a publication agreement. Copyright transfer agreements vary from publisher to publisher. Read this agreement carefully.
If the Agreement asks you to transfer your copyright to the publisher, you should make sure you understand what this means. If the transfer agreement is not qualified in any way, it will mean that only the publisher will be able to reproduce, publish, communicate, perform or adapt your work, thus preventing you from re-using or distributing your work without Publisher permission.
Assigning copyright, on an unconditional basis, to a journal publisher means:
Reproduced with permission from Bill Hubbard (SHERPA) and London School of Economics and Political Science, London, U.K; 2007.