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What Authors Should Know About Copyrights and Licensing in OA Publishing

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Historically, barriers to academic articles have hindered equity in education, as subscription fees effectively function as gatekeepers. The cost of multiple subscriptions can number in the millions, limiting access unless one has connections to an institute of higher learning. However, the OA publishing movement, an internationally driven effort joined by individuals and academic organizations alike, seeks to change that. Though the cost of research and publishing remains an issue, this movement aims to make educational material available to everyone regardless of funds.

How Does Copyright and License Work in Open Access Publishing?

OA journal publishing is much like any other type: Authors automatically own the copyright to their content but can sell or give away that right at will. When another entity obtains the copyright, it’s called licensing. Publishers and authors can negotiate the terms of licensing, and authors are usually compensated for the use of their work. Of course, laws vary by nation, so you should check copyrights in your country before pursuing publication.

Who Retains the Copyright?

Typically, the author retains the copyright to any scholarly publishing, though publishers may obtain the rights with the author’s permission. In OA publishing, copyright ownership depends on the type. For example, authors generally retain copyright through Gold OA, though publishers may obtain the rights through Green OA. 

What Is a Creative Commons License and How Is It Related to Copyright?

Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization dedicated to making content accessible to all while defending creators’ copyrights. All licenses are standardized to allow specific types of use and sharing depending on the type:

  • Attribution-NonCommercial
  • Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
  • Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs
  • Attribution-NoDerivs
  • Attribution-ShareAlike
  • Attribution

Creative Commons licenses are common on the internet and are generally considered the future of open access.

What Is the Process To License Your Work Through Creative Commons?

Licensing your work through Creative Commons is incredibly easy, which is why it’s the preferred method for OA publishing. CC offers several tools to help creators choose the appropriate license type and include the necessary legal verbiage in their work. One of the biggest open access publishing trends is online platforms using CC language automatically upon posting.

What Should Authors and Researchers Know Before Submitting Work to OA Journals?

Research publishing is shifting toward open access as a standard. In fact, OA trends show that soon paywall may be an outlier. For example, researchers in the U.K. have used open access publishing for as much as 90% of 2021 work.

Amnet enables OA publishing through a state-of-the-art framework, EnableOA. EnableOA is easy to set up and simple for platform visitors to use. To learn more visit us at enableoa.amnet.com

1. https://theconversation.com/universities-spend-millions-on-accessing-results-of-publicly-funded-research-88392.
2. https://www.openaccess.nl/en/what-is-open-access
3. https://creativecommons.org/faq/#what-is-creative-commons-and-what-do-you-do
4. https://www.researchinformation.info/news/strong-open-access-growth-set-continue-report

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