As the options for scholarly publication, and for reusing material in multiple different formats, expand, it is increasingly important that scholarly authors retain the right to reuse their own work in the classroom, in later publications and in open access repositories and webpages. While many people assume they have always retained these rights, until recently most publication agreements did not allow these uses, even by the original authors.
Fortunately, more and more publishers, especially academic presses, are beginning to rework their publication agreements to allow for these new oppotunities in the digital environment.
Duke University Press uses a publication agreement that can serve as a model for faculty authors; it is simple, readable, and permits authors to retain an “unretricted right” to make non-commercial uses of there own work. See a copy of this agreement here:
It is also worth noting that Duke University Press will accept an exclusive right of first publication in situations where an author does not want to assign his or her copyright to the publisher. These arrangements are an excellent example of what authors should seek when publishing scholarly work.
The most important message for scholarly authors is to read your publication agreement carefully. For more information, click on the page listed above “For Faculty Authors” or contact the Scholarly Communications Office.