Skip to Main Content

Scholarly Communication: Do I keep my copyright when I publish?

The Scholarly Communications committee provides Bucknell’s faculty scholars with customized information, education, and guidance as well as the technical resources and support services needed throughout all steps of the scholarly communications process.


As a copyright holder, your rights are exclusive unless you license them or enter into another legal agreement. 

The Bucknell Open Access Policy is one example of a non-exclusive legal agreement. In 2011, faculty at Bucknell voted to give the university a non-exclusive, worldwide, paid-up license to reproduce and distribute their articles for the purpose of making these works open access. Faculty members may opt-out of this policy at any time.


Often, to publish in subscription-based journals, you will license or transfer all or some of your rights to the publisher. 


The easiest way to keep your rights is to publish open access. Most open-access publications (always check!) allow the author to maintain their rights by publishing the article with a creative commons license. Some journals (Diamond OA) are free to publish in, but many open access publications charge a Processing Charge (commonly referred to as the APC for articles), which can cost thousands of dollars for an article or chapter, and tens of thousands for a book. 


If you want to negotiate to keep some of your rights without paying, your best bet may be to select an author addendum to use in your negotiation. While you may still be transferring your copyright to the publisher, an addendum will allow you to continue to reproduce, distribute, and make derivative works from your work. For support in using addendums, identifying diamond OA journals, and more, please email us at