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FIU Digital Commons

Information on publishing, archiving and promoting your research through FIU's institutional repository

Benefits of Wider Access to Your Work

Making your research publications widely accessible through institutional or subject repositories can increase the visibility and prominence of your research. These two articles provide the research to support this:

Open Access Increases Citation Rate 

Self-Selected or Mandated, Open Access Increases Citation Impact for Higher Quality Research

Publishing Your Work

As the author of the work, you are the copyright owner and own all the exclusive rights to the work which include reproduction, distribution, public performance, public display and modification of the original work. 

When your work is accepted by a publisher, you must sign a publishing agreement. Typically, these are known as acopyright transfer agreement. This transfers the copyright and complete bundle of rights over to the publisher. If you sign over the copyright to the publisher, that means you must ask the publisher permission to:

  • Make copies for your class or your colleagues;
  • Use pieces of your article in other publications;
  • Put your article on your personal/lab/departmental website, subject repository, institutional repository or even on sites like ResearchGate.

By signing a restrictive publication agreement, you are limiting the possible reach and narrowing access of your work in the scholarly universe and lessening your impact as an author.

Read the publication agreement to understand what rights the publisher is asking you to sign over. And remember:publishing agreements are negotiable.

You can use an author addendum to transfer only certain rights to the publisher. Publishers require only your permission to publish an article, not a wholesale transfer of copyright. By using an author addendum, you can create a balanced approach to copyright management by providing the publisher with the rights they need while maintaining ownership of your work.

If the publisher rejects the addendum and has a take-it-or-leave-it position with respect to the publisher’s standard agreement, consider what alternative publications would be willing to enter into a fair copyright agreement for your article. Also, try and find out which of the terms of the Addendum the publisher rejects. Some publishers may be willing to agree to some modifications to their standard agreements. Speak with your colleagues, your department chair, and/or your Dean about the choice you face. 

Including Published Work in Digital Commons

Depositing your work in Digital Commons does not affect the copyright of your work, whether it lies with you or the publisher. It simply removes any barriers to access, such as subscriptions, and provides broader access to your work. Your work is still protected under copyright.

Will Publishers Let Me Include My Work in Digital Commons?

Most publishers will allow the author's accepted manuscript  to be deposited in an Institutional Repository. The diagram below illustrates the different versions of a publication produced during the publication process.

'Which version to upload' image courtesy of Digital Services, University of Cambridge used under CC BY-SA 4.0.




As the author, you have exclusive rights of reproduction, distribution, public performance, public display, and modification of your original work. When you publish in peer reviewed journals always remember to:

1. Keep your Accepted Author Manuscripts

Many publishers have loosened up and will allow you to distribute and reuse your accepted author manuscript (this is the version after peer review and before any publisher formatting). You may be able to post this version on your own personal website, institutional repository, or other departmental site WITHOUT violating your publisher agreement. 

2. Know What You Are Signing

In many cases, the publisher will ask you to sign a copyright transfer agreement before they will publish your work. This copyright transfer agreement will transfer ALL your rights as the original copyright owner to the publisher.

In some cases, you may be signing a license agreement, which will give only some rights (usually reproduction and distribution) to the publisher.

To be sure, READ THE AGREEMENT BEFORE YOU SIGN IT! Know what you can and cannot do with your work once it is published. If you don’t like what the publisher has to say, use an author addendum, to request the rights you do want to retain.

If you’ve already signed an agreement and want to know what your rights are use Sherpa/Romeo at and search for the journal your work was published in. There you’ll find a quick summary of your rights!

"Open Access (OA) stands for unrestricted access and unrestricted reuse. Here’s why that matters.

Most publishers own the rights to the articles in their journals. Anyone who wants to read the articles must pay to access them. Anyone who wants to use the articles in any way must obtain permission from the publisher and is often required to pay an additional fee.

Although many researchers can access the journals they need via their institution and think that their access is free, in reality it is not. The institution has often been involved in lengthy negotiations around the price of their site license and re-use of this content is limited.

Paying for access to content makes sense in the world of print publishing, where providing content to each new reader requires the production of an additional copy, but online it makes much less sense to charge for content when it is possible to provide access to all readers anywhere in the world." (From PLoS

You can use these sites to help you identify reputable Open Access Publishers and Journals:

Director of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)

Open Access Scholarly Publication Association

If you have questions regarding a journal or publisher, please contact Jill Krefft at 

Scholarly Communication Guide: These guides are designed to provide information and heighten awareness about important issues related to scholarly communication.

Sherpa/Romeo : Use this website to find a summary of permissions that are normally given as part of each publisher's copyright transfer agreement, including self-archiving options and copyright.

Science Commons Author’s Addendum : FAQ’s about Addendums

Scholar’s Copyright Addendum Engine : A tool to help you generate a PDF form that you can attach to a journal publisher’s copyright agreement to ensure that you retain certain rights.

SPARC Author Addendum: Information about using an addendum and addendum template

Open Access Scholarly Information Sourcebook: Information, templates and resources about using an author addendum

FIU Open Access Publishing Fund: The Open Access Fund is currently suspended until a decision has been reached about continuing in 2015-16.  The Fund began in late Fall 2013 as a pilot program.  We are now evaluating the program and will come to a decision in the Fall semester.