Skip to Main Content

Scholarly Communications & Open Access

[Information on this page is not legal advice.]

Your scholarship, your copyright

When you create a work (such as a research paper or creative project), U.S. copyright automatically applies to that work in your name (see the Copyright and Fair Use guide for more details). This is true for work created as SUNY Oneonta faculty according to the SUNY Copyright Policy.

Owning the copyright to your works allows you to choose how to distribute it. However, to publish in many journals you may be asked to transfer the copyright to the publisher, which gives them control over where and how your work is displayed and accessed. 

As a SUNY Oneonta author, our campus Open Access Policy protects your right to distribute a copy of your works. Specifically, the policy ensures you can post a version of your work on the web (sometimes referred to as “self-archiving”) in an institutional repository like the SUNY Open Access Repository (SOAR).

Making research and scholarship as widely available as possible supports SUNY Oneonta’s commitment to learning and student success. 


[click on the OA Policy image below to read the entire policy]

Image of campus Open Access Policy Statement

Resources for Author Rights

Publisher Policies

Publishers are increasingly recognizing the value of authors sharing their work in open repositories, in classrooms with their students, or on social media. Today, they often allow multiple "pathways" to open access, but publisher policies and agreements vary considerably. The online database Sherpa Romeo explains the rules about open access pathways for most well-known journals. If you want help understanding these pathways, contact Milne Library's Scholarly Communications Librarian,


Options for Retaining Author Rights

When publishing an article, you typically sign a copyright transfer agreement with the publisher. Some of these agreements permit self-archiving and other types of sharing, but others significantly restrict what you can do with your work. An author addendum can help you modify these agreements to retain rights such as sharing your work with colleagues, using your work in the classroom or on Blackboard, and posting your work in disciplinary repositories like SSRN.

Authors can specify the rights they want to retain before signing a copyright transfer document, as most publishers do not extend these rights to authors in their standard agreements. 

  • One way to retain rights is to use the online SPARC Addendum (see more information below).
  • The Author's Alliance is another great resource for up-to-date information on copyright retention.

You can also choose an open access journal or publisher. Search for well-known open journals at the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). However, you do NOT need to pay expensive article processing charges (sometimes called APCs or publication fees) to make your papers open access -- please contact if you are considering this pathway to discuss all your options. 


SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition)

SPARC is a global coalition of over 200 institutions -- primarily academic and research libraries in the U.S. and Canada -- committed to address issues related to and advance Open Access, Open Data, and Open Education. One of their major contributions is the creation of the SPARC Author Addendum and online scholars addendum engine, which have been widely used by authors to start conversations with their publishers about retaining the rights they want and need for their research and teaching.