Distributing Copies of Your Own Articles
A faculty member wrote and published an article in a journal last year. Since she authored the article, does she have the right to make and distribute copies?
It depends. Authors, at the point of a work's creation, hold the exclusive rights given to copyright owners to reproduce and distribute the work (see Copyright Ownership). However, in the pre-publication process, many authors transfer all or part of their copyright of a manuscript to the publisher, who may request or require the exclusive rights to publish and distribute the work. When these rights are transferred to the publisher, then the author may only copy and distribute the work with permission from the publisher, or after a determination that fair use, a limited exception to the copyright holder's rights, would apply.
In this case, it is important to review and negotiate publication agreements. Publishers of scholarly and academic journals will each have their own default policies regarding author rights. The SHERPA Project in the UK maintains a searchable database of publisher copyright policies from more than 100 academic publishers throughout the world.
For authors entering into publication agreements, Kenneth D. Crews' "Reserving Rights of Use in Works Submitted for Publication: Negotiating Publishing Agreements" is highly recommended.Posted by Copyright Information and Education