Should I try to negotiate my publication agreements with publishers?

Our answer:

Traditionally, academic publishers have required authors to transfer the copyright in their work as a condition of publication. The publisher then becomes the exclusive owner of the work, which is then sold back to the research community through journal subscriptions paid for by academic libraries. By retaining their copyrights at the beginning of this process, authors have the power to rectify this situation and enable the broader and more equitable dissemination of scholarship.

Agreeing to publish in a journal doesn't have to be an all or nothing contract, and there are several strategies that authors can use to negotiate more favorable terms. After consulting with a librarian or intellectual property expert, attaching an approved "copyright addendum" to your publication contract offers the publisher the rights they need to publish your work while ensuring that you retain the right to share and reuse your own work.

FSU authors are encouraged to use the FSU Copyright Transfer Addendum, which has been approved by the Offices of Research and General Counsel for use in publication contract negotiations. Authors interested in using the FSU Addendum should review these step-by-step instructions. The Libraries' Academic Publishing research guide includes a wealth of further information and resources on retaining your author rights.