Skip to Main Content UMKC University Libraries

Publishing Your Work

A guide with pages on publishing Gold or Green OA, publication agreement language, and more.

The words "Author's Rights" in yellow font on a blue background beside a graphic of a gavel

Under U.S. copyright law, as soon as a work is fixed in a tangible form, you as the author immediately have certain exclusive copyrights:

  • The right to reproduce copies of your work in any format;
  • The right to prepare derivative works, or adaptations of your work, including translations, revised editions, etc.;
  • The right to distribute new copies of your work;
  • The right to display your work publicly.

When your paper is accepted for publication, many publishers will ask you to sign a standard publishing agreement which transfers all copyrights in the work to the publisher.  That may not be necessary, nor to your advantage.

The words "Controlling Your Copyright" in yellow font on a blue background beside a graphic of books with the copyright symbol

If you decide to keep your copyright:
1.  Register it.  While you do not need to register your copyright in order to maintain your rights, registering your copyright can be useful.  It allows you to claim damages in case your rights are infringed, and it lets people know where the copyright resides if they wish to ask permission to make use of your work.

2.  Consider including a statement that pre-approves certain uses of your work.  Creative Commons provides a suite of standard licenses which allow you to automatically grant certain permissions for the reuse of your work.  A guide to Creative Commons is available on the Library's web site.