Skip to Main Content

Author's Rights and Publishing Contracts: Find It In Your Contract

How do I find and secure usage rights for my work?

Where Are Your Rights Listed?

Publishing contracts are full of legal jargon, which can be very confusing and overwhelming. It is tempting to skip over all the fine print and just sign the contract and get on with the publishing. But the publishing contract is where (among other things) your author rights are defined. 

Below are some links to help explain the contract overall, and to help you find exactly where your author rights are listed in the contract:

The author rights clause is not inherently a bad clause, but you should still look out for it, so you know what you are agreeing to. Often you can find the author rights description by locating a bolded "Copyright" header in the contract, or by recognizing the “transfer of rights” verbiage.

Negotiating

However, if you would like to negotiate for more author rights for your work, the links below offer some support:

As they say, if nothing else, at least read the contract.

There could be some items in it that you’ll regret later. If you want to change anything, ask your editor for it: you’ll never get what you don’t ask for, and you won't get denied publication.

And finally, it is your right to ask for support about what your contract means: ask your publishing editor, or us in Scholarly Communications at UNC, to walk through the contract.

  • Last Updated: Nov 8, 2021 10:04 AM
  • URL: https://guides.lib.unc.edu/authors-rights