OAK Law Project Publishes Understanding Open Access in the Academic Environment: A Guide for Authors

The Open Access to Knowledge Law Project has published Understanding Open Access in the Academic Environment: A Guide for Authors.

Here's an excerpt:

This guide aims to provide practical guidance for academic authors interested in making their work more openly accessible to readers and other researchers.

The guide explains, in detail, the principles and features of the open access movement and outlines the benefits of open access, particularly those relating to dissemination, citation impact and academic reputation. It examines institutional repositories and open access journals as tools for implementing open access, and explains how they operate and how they can be best utilised by academic authors. The guide further considers how moves by funding bodies and academic institutions to mandate the deposit of research output into institutional repositories affects authors in today's publishing environment.

The underlying law of copyright is also explained, with a practical emphasis on how authors can best deal with their legal rights to enable open access to their academic work. The guide outlines authors' options for providing open access to their work, including the use of copyright licences and open content models such as Creative Commons licences. A Copyright Toolkit is provided to further assist authors in managing their copyright.

Importantly, the guide addresses how open access goals can affect an author's relationship with their commercial publisher. It provides guidance on how to negotiate a proper allocation of copyright interests between an author and publisher in order to allow an author to deposit their work into an institutional repository and reuse their work. The guide addresses both legal and non-legal issues related to maintaining a positive relationship with publishers while still ensuring that open access can be obtained.

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