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Open Access

Author rights

As an author you own exclusive rights to reproduce, distribute and modify your work. You hold these rights unless and until you transfer copyright to another person or organisation.  

When submitting your work to a publisher, read the publisher/author agreement carefully. Publishers require a licence to distribute your work, but many agreements include the transfer of additional rights. If you transfer copyright to a publisher and subsequently attempt to reproduce, distribute or modify your work, this may infringe copyright.  

Some questions to consider when reviewing an agreement include: 

  • Does the agreement allow your work to be used for future educational or professional purposes?  
  • Are you able to distribute copies in a classroom? 
  • Can you reproduce, distribute, publicly perform, and publicly display the work (in any medium)? 
  • Does the agreement allow self-archiving in your institutional repository or personal website?  
  • Are the terms of the agreement compatible with the open access policy of your institution or funder? For example, can you meet the UNSW requirement to deposit a copy of your article in UNSWorks within twelve months of publication? 

After reviewing the terms of your agreement, if the publisher does not allow you to make the Version of Record immediately openly accessible with a CC-BY licence UNSW authors must negotiate to retain the right deposit their Author Accepted Manuscript in UNSWorks. 

A useful tool during this process is an author addendum or rights retention statement, which can help you to retain key rights and allow you to re-use, disseminate and archive your work more freely. The UNSW Open Access Policy includes an official UNSW rights retention statement: 

“This research was produced in whole or part by UNSW Sydney researchers and is subject to the UNSW Intellectual property policy. For the purposes of Open Access, the author has applied a Creative Commons Attribution CC-BY licence to any Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) version arising from this submission”.

You may also consider publishing in high-quality fully open access outlets, which allow your work to be freely accessible and generally do not place restrictions on self-archiving and re-use.