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Author Rights

Information to help scholars understand their rights to their published work and avoid being confused with other researchers.

Scholarly Communications Librarian

You can get help for research in several ways.

Contact the Scholarly Communications librarian, Kristin Laughtin-Dunker, at or (714) 532-7769

Call the Reference Desk at (714) 532-7714

Chat with us at LibChat during Reference Desk hours

Email us at Quick Reference

Ask the KnowledgeBase

Under U.S. law, any work a person creates in a fixed medium (including digital files) is the intellectual property of that person.  As such, the author owns the copyright to the work, which grants them the rights to publish, use, transform, reproduce, perform, and distribute that property or to transfer those rights to another party. 

Understanding these rights is important for every author.  Once certain rights are signed away, the author no longer has any control over what is done with their work.  The resources on this page have been compiled to help faculty and researchers understand their rights as authors and retain any they wish to keep. 

Understanding Author Rights

Addenda, Language, and Licenses to Modify Publisher Contracts

Some publishers may be open to negotiating certain rights with their authors, from the right to distribute a free version of the work in a repository all the way up to full copyright.  The following tools and language may be useful for authors hoping to retain particular rights to their work, and should be attempted before signing any publishing contract.

Tools for Termination of Transfer/Regaining Author Rights

Tools to help authors get their rights returned to them.