Scholarly Communication Resources

Creating Change in Scholarly Communication

SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) recently retooled and republished its Create Change resource. The site has been updated to provide faculty with current information, perspectives, and tools that will enable them to play an active role in advancing scholarly information exchange in the networked environment. The new Create Change website is based around the idea that the ways faculty share and use academic research results are changing rapidly and irreversibly. By posing the question, “Shouldn’t the way we share research be as advanced as the Internet?” the site outlines how faster and wider sharing of journal articles, research data, simulations, syntheses, analyses, and other findings fuels the advance of knowledge. It also offers practical ways faculty can look out for their own interests as researchers.

Authors Rights and SPARC Author Addendum

SPARC’s Author Rights educational initiative provides information and resources for faculty about the SPARC Author Addendum, a legal form that enables authors of journal articles to modify publishers’ copyright transfer agreements to allow authors to keep key rights to their articles.

View the SPARC Author Addendum in PDF or in Word. Attach this addendum to the publisher agreement that you sign just before a new article is to be published.

Permission Guidelines for Previously Published Works

All works submitted to ScholarWorks must be cleared for use by the copyright owner.

For works the author holds copyright to, the following is needed:

  • Written confirmation the author does in fact hold rights to reproduce the work digitally.
  • Written permission stating the author permits the use of the work in ScholarWorks.

For works where the author no longer retains copyright which is the usual case, permission from the copyright holder must be granted. This refers to any publications the author has transferred copyright to a publisher. In this case the following is needed:

  • Written permission from the publisher. The permissions must state explicitly the author has the right to convert the document into a digital format and make it available electronically via the institutional repository. This can be addressed with a permission request to the publisher.
  • Any conditions from the permissions agreement provided by the publisher must be honored. In some cases publishers grant permission upon certain conditions, e.g. ask that their rights statement be included or ask that a link be provided to the publisher’s pdf version.

Suggested Steps for Acquiring Permission to Add Materials to ScholarWorks

  • First, determine who owns copyright for the work. If possible, authors should look at the agreements signed during the publication process to see if such use is permissible.
  • If a signed agreement cannot be located or if the agreement is not clear on whether electronic reprints are permissible, the next step is to locate the publisher’s policy. Many known policies for academic publishers are listed on the SHERPA/RoMEO website.
  • If the publisher is not listed on the SHERPA/RoMEO site, the publisher should be contacted directly. Often a quick online search will lead to contact information for authors’ rights management offices within a publisher’s site. Templates for permissions request letters that can be used when contacting publishers are available through ScholarWorks.

For additional information, please contact the