Skip to Main Content

Open Access and Scholarly Communications: Managing Your Rights

Created by Health Science Librarians

Keeping Your Copyrights

Determining Your Rights for Previously Published Work

If you transferred your copyright to the publisher at the time of publication, your right to re-use the content in teaching and publication may be restricted. To determine your rights, take the following steps:

  • If you have it, check your original publishing agreement.
  • Look for the specific publisher's policies on the SHERPA/RoMEO website.
  • Contact the publisher.

Regaining Rights To Your Books

Rights Reversion - Authors Alliance

"Have you written a book that has fallen out of print, or isn’t selling as well as it used to? Would you like to open that content to a wider audience, perhaps by creating a digital edition, re-releasing a print edition, or making the work available under an open access license? Today, there are more options for distribution available than ever before, but many publishing contracts were written in a pre-digital world, with terms that lasted beyond an author’s lifetime. Now that these contracts have been outpaced by new technologies, there has never been a more compelling time for authors to re-evaluate their publishing options."

Creative Commons Licensing

Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization that enables you to grant the public permission to use your work under conditions of your choice. Creative Commons licenses do not replace copyright but work alongside it, allowing you to keep your copyrights while permitting certain uses of your work. You can choose to permit or deny commercial uses or your work, the creation of derivative works, and whether or not new works must be licensed under the same terms. To select a license for your work, try the Creative Commons License Chooser tool.

Wanna Work Together? by Creative Commons is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license.

UNC Scholarly Communications Office

The Scholarly Communications Officer provides guidance, policy development, and advocacy to faculty, students, and staff on the following issues:

  • Copyright and fair use

  • Authors’ rights

  • Privacy rights

  • Open access

  • Policy related to scholarly material

For more information, visit the Scholarly Communications Office webpage, or contact Scholarly Communications Officer Anne Gilliland, MSLS, JD