It’s all about impact. Things to think about before signing that publishing deal.

You like the idea of as many people as possible being able to access, use and cite your work. This means getting your ideas out there quickly, so Open Access publishing is the model for you. Visibility is what it’s all about: for your ideas, as well as your career.

The offer from a publisher is on the table, your pen is poised to sign. What should you have considered?

  1. When you’ve created a research output, the copyright is yours. You can sign it away, or retain it: so negotiate. If need be, provide an author addendum for inclusion in the contract to spell out your sharing rights.
  2. Ask the publisher to provide you with information about the terms in the contract. How will this deal impact on your university or funding body’s requirement to deposit your work in the university’s open access repository?
  3. Understand the difference between the industry terms of ‘Green OA’ and ‘Gold OA.’ The former allows you to deposit a manuscript of your work in your university’s repository so anyone who looks can read it. The term ‘Gold OA’ refers to a model where the publisher of the scholarly journal provides full open access to the contents, so nothing is locked away behind paywalls.


4. Check the Directory of Open Access Journals if you’d like more information on a prospective title. DOAG provides a sound source of international information about quality, peer reviewed journals.

If you want to share your creative work and let others use it consider a Creative Commons licence. Find out more here.

This short video explains the importance of retaining rights on your work.

And, if you still have sweaty palms about signing, contact the library for copyright and publishing advice. Your Research Librarian can point you in the right direction for this.

If you’re really hungry for more research on this topic, check out this recently published articled titled The academic, economic and societal impacts of Open Access: an evidence-based review.”

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