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Understanding Your Author Rights: Overview

A guide on your rights as a published author.

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Know Your Rights

As the author of a work, you have the rights to:

  • reproduce the work (e.g. photocopying)
  • create derivative works (e.g. translations)
  • distribute the work (e.g. by license, sale, or other means)
  • display or perform the work publicly
  • grant the exercise of any of these rights to other people or organizations (e.g. a publisher

Managing Your Rights

BEFORE signing a publisher's agreement, ask yourself:

  • Do I want to be able to send my colleagues copies of my article?
  • Do I want to post a copy of my article on Canvas?
  • Do I want to include a copy of my article in my CV online?
  • Do I want to place my article in an institutional repository (e.g. eScholarship@Morgan)?
  • Do I want to publish my article in translation?
  • Do I want to distribute copies of my article as part of a conference presentation?
  • Do I want to assign it as a reading to my students?


This guide includes many resources to help you know what to do when signing a publisher's agreement based on these questions.

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Chris Iweha
Morgan State University
Earl S. Richardson Library, Room 312
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