It is important to understand the tactics used by various publishers prior to manuscript submission. Below, you'll see the various ways to identify individual policies for your targeted journals.
SHERPA/RoMEO is a free database containing the copyright and self-archiving policies of more than 22,000 journals and periodicals. Each journal is coded with a classification color (yellow, blue, green, or white) to indicate the archiving policies of each journal. NOTE: Policies are pulled from publisher websites and updated periodically. SHERPA/RoMEO should not be the authority resource when determining specific publisher conditions.
Before submitting an article to a journal, discover as much as you can about that journal's policies on author rights. Sometimes journals publish this information on their websites, but it may be necessary to contact the journal's editors directly to request it. You may also contact your library liaison for additional assistance.
Some examples of publishers' author information pages and how to find them:
For-profit publisher author guidelines:
Non-Profit publisher author guidelines:
AAUP: The Association of American University Presses has a Permissions and Copyright Information page with general information for authors. Linked from this page is a helpful Directory of Individual Academic Presses where you can look up permissions and contact information at a particular press.
If navigating an individual press's website, search for tabs containing information for authors. When in doubt, use the contact links to request information directly.
Author agreements come in many forms and at different points in the submission process. Some agreements are referred to as "click-through" agreements encountered when submitting a manuscript for the first time in a publisher's online submission portal. Other agreements are electronic documents signed by the author after manuscript acceptance. Across various publishers, you will find different words used to convey the same thing. In every instance, look for language that mirrors the following examples of problematic statements:
Despite the overwhelming number of problematic transfer statements, some transfer agreements do contain clauses that are beneficial for authors. Examples include:
Sample author agreements:
For help understanding the strengths and weaknesses of specific agreements, contact firstname.lastname@example.org