"Open Access Author Contracts and Alignment with the Open Ethos: A Global Study"

Author contracts in scholarly publishing serve to outline the rights and permissions for each party in the use and redistribution of a work throughout the life of its copyright term. Although rights and licensing expectations for open access publishing—the “open access ethos”—have been detailed in the Budapest Declaration, Plan S Principles, and other documentation, studies that explore the implementation of these ideals in contracts between authors and publishers have been limited in focus and scope. This study seeks to initiate a holistic approach toward evaluating open access journal agreements that is not limited by region or discipline, with the aim of discerning best practices as well as delineating common points of deviation. The authors distributed a survey to contacts from journals in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), including both journals with and without a DOAJ Seal. The results suggest that DOAJ Seal status is central to alignment with the open access ethos and that there is more misunderstanding about the importance of copyright and licensing terms than shown in previous research. This research contributes to discussions pursuing a future of open access publishing that supports authors’ rights as a central tenet.


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Author: Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

Charles W. Bailey, Jr.