Skip to Main Content

Copyright for Research and Teaching

This guide serves as an introduction to U.S. copyright issues including definitions, fair use, research and classroom use, and related topics.

Copyright & Research

As we mentioned in the Copyright Basics tab, as the copyright holder for your work, you have control over how your work is used, reproduced, distributed, adapted, performed, or displayed. You will continue to have complete control over your work until and unless you transfer your copyrights to someone else.

Most publication contracts require you to sign away your author rights when you publish. This page contains resources to help you navigate your options for retaining copyright over your work. 

Negotiating With Publishers

When you publish your work, you have the right to choose between the following scenarios: 

  1. Transfer all of your rights to the publisher (this is often the default choice)
  2. Transfer some rights to the publisher but retain other rights
  3. Retain all of your rights and license the right to distribute your work to the publisher 

One way you can go about negotiating with publishers is through the use of an addendum, an addition to a traditional publication agreement that specifies certain changes that you (the author) would like to make in order to keep your rights over your work. The video below provides more information about this process. 

Open Access: Keep Your Rights, Share Your Work

Open Access, "the free, immediate, online availability of research articles," is another option for authors who want to share their research and hold onto their copyrights. You can make your work open by sharing a copy of the pre-print before publication, depositing a copy of your published work in an online repository (such as the ISU Digital Repository) or by publishing your work in an Open Access journal or as an Open Access monograph. 

You can learn more about Open Access on our other Research Guides:



Your librarian

Profile Photo
Jeff Alger
150 Parks


Additional Information