Beware of License to Publish agreements: or ensuring authors retain rights to their openly published work

Thursday, 16 November 2023
5pm CET /  11am EST /  8am PST

One of the key points coming out of the 16th Berlin Open Access Conference was the crucial need to fully enable author choice and author rights when publishing their research open access:

We strongly support retention of copyright and all rights therein by authors. Open access agreements with publishers should stipulate that authors only grant “limited” or “non-exclusive” licenses to publishers, and liberal Creative Commons (CC) licenses (e.g., CC BY) should be applied as the default choice. (…) author “license to publish” agreements should not limit the author’s rights in any way.

Not rarely authors are misled by the language of “License to Publish” agreements, unwittingly granting an exclusive license to all rights held in copyright to publishers, which is against the spirit of open access publishing and the licenses that support them.

In this webinar, Arjan Schalken of UKB (Netherlands) and Rich Schneider of University of California San Francisco (USA) talked about problems with current license to publish agreements and discussed strategies to prevent publishers from abusing restrictive CC licenses and ensure that authors retain all their rights and can decide how their work is disseminated and used.


OA2020 slides
Rich Schneider’s slides
Arjan Schalken’s slides