The Internet and digital technologies have created new opportunities for disseminating your research and scholarship to a broader audience of readers and colleagues. This page lists a number of ways to make your work more accessible.
Managing your rights as an author is crucial to being able to share your work with others. Many authors do not realize that they often give away all their use rights when they sign a publishing contract. However, usage rights are almost always negotiable.
Publishers will often give specific use rights, such as: permission to post a copy on your personal website or in an institutional repository (see below), and to create derivative works. Obtaining permission to post an electronic version, even a pre-print, will greatly assist you in sharing your work with students and colleagues. We suggest that you complete an author addendum, and attach it to the publisher’s contract. For additional information on author rights, see Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC). For questions or assistance, contact:
Digital Commons is an institutional repository where faculty and students can post their research and scholarly works, making it freely accessible to the Internet community. Faculty can also request a Selected Works page where they can post a picture, biographical information, research and teaching interests, and scholarship. For more information, contact Erin Crane.
Creative Commons (CC) “is a nonprofit corporation dedicated to making it easier for people to share and build upon the work of others, consistent with the rules of copyright. [They] provide free licenses and other legal tools to mark creative work with the freedom the creator wants it to carry, so others can share, remix, use commercially, or any combination thereof.” CC is a useful way to inform others of the permissible use of your works. Conversely, when you see a CC license on a webpage you will know how the content can be used.
Open Access (OA) journals are freely available on the Internet and do not charge for access to their materials. Users may read, download, copy, distribute, print, or link to the full texts of these articles without asking for permission. OA journals are more discoverable by scholars and the public than their non-OA counterparts. This increases the likelihood that others will find your material thus aiding in the wider dissemination of the work and the potential impact of the article. It is estimated that there is an increase in article citation between 17% and 250% with downloads of OA articles; double that of their non-OA counterparts (Joint, “The Antaeus column”). For more information on OA publishing, see SPARC.
Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). A searchable directory of over 4,000 OA journals.
"Open Access Overview,” by Peter Suber. Informative article on the Open Access movement.
Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC). For information on OA and author rights management.
“The Scholar's Copyright Addendum Engine,” Science Commons. Addendum for authors to retain use rights to their works.
Content adapted from “Sharing Your Work,” University of Michigan Library. Used under a Creative Commons license.