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Faculty Senate endorses addendum to author’s contract with publishers

Have you ever had trouble determining whether you have a legal right to post copies of your previously published work on your website? After all, your rights depend on the contract you signed. To avoid that problem in the future, the Faculty Senate encourages you to append a special Authors’ Addendum to the contracts you sign with publishers. Use of the addendum is intended “to ensure that academic authors retain certain intellectual property rights that facilitate archiving, instructional use, and sharing with colleagues to advance discourse and discovery.”

The addendum is available online; you can fill in the agreement online, then print it out and sign it, or you may print or save a blank copy to use later. The UW Authors Addendum is a variant of a similar document endorsed by the CIC Provosts earlier this year.

But what about contracts you may have signed in the past? While the actual contract is the definitive document that determines your rights, a website called SHERPA/RoMEO is an excellent source of information about the terms of different publishers’ standard contracts. You can consult it to determine the rights you (probably) have to items you previously published, or to find out more about the standard contract terms of journals where you are considering submitting your work for publication.

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