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Figure out what a journal's copyright policies are
SHERPA/RoMEO summarizes journal copyright transfers and permissions, it also ranks the journals on a color scale to easily tell author's if pre and post prints of an accepted article can be published or stored elsewhere.
Why should I care?
Why? According to the traditional publication agreement, all rights —including copyright — go to the journal. You probably want to include sections of your article in later works. You might want to give copies to your class or distribute it among colleagues. And you likely want to place it on your Web page or in an online repository if you had the choice. These are all ways to give your research wide exposure and fulfill your goals as a scholar, but they are inhibited by the traditional agreement. If you sign on the publisher’s dotted line, is there any way
to retain these critical rights?
Yes. The SPARC Author Addendum is a legal instrument that modifies the publisher’s agreement and allows you to keep key rights to your articles. The Author Addendum is a free resource developed by SPARC in partnership with Creative Commons and Science Commons , established non-profit organizations that offer a range of copyright options for many different creative endeavors.