How do you become a part of the open access movement?
What makes it [Open Access] possible is the internet and the consent of the author or copyright-holder.
From Peter Suber’s Very brief introduction to Open Access.
Fortunately, Information Services has the internet and sharing platform (Digital Commons) figured out for you. Determining the copyright-holder is a little more complicated. By default, you own the copyright to all your creative work as soon as it is recorded (online or in print). If your work was published in a journal, you needed to sign at least *some* of the copyright over to the publisher so they could distribute the work. Unfortunately, in many cases, authors actually transfer ALL rights associated with their work to the publisher, or certainly more rights than the publisher actually needs. Depending on the rights you granted the publisher, you may not be legally allowed to distribute your scholarship via Digital Commons or other online repositories like ResearchGate or Academia.edu, provide copies to colleagues or students(!), or reuse parts of it in upcoming publications (like books!).
How do you know?
If you signed a Copyright Transfer Agreement, read the document carefully and ask your publisher to clarify any language that you don’t understand. If you no longer have a copy of that agreement, we can use databases like Sherpa/Romeo to search for a journal and find “a summary of permissions that are normally given as part of each publisher’s copyright transfer agreement.”
Attend our workshop today (4:15pm, Davis Classroom) where we will help you determine which articles, conference presentations, and other research can be made openly available in Digital Commons.