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How to Negotiate with Publishers — Author Addenda

What are Author Addenda?

Author addenda are legal instruments used to mofidy a publisher's Copyright Transfer Agreements (CTAs). Author addenda have been in existance since the mid-2000s and contain standardized legal language which has been tested over time. They are written to benefit authors - generally to retain copyright and to protect an author's rights to their work. Addenda are easy to use, so little expertise is needed, and they are a familiar concept to publishers.

All of these addenda:

  • keep non-exclusive rights for the author (some limited to scholarly uses, some limited to noncommercial uses)
  • give authors the right to use the published version of the manuscript
  • acknowledge the potential for existence of prior non-exclusive licenses, either for funder policies, institutional policies, or both
  • some details differ in each addenda but the basics are the same

How are author addenda used?

Addenda contain fixed language in prescibed sections. Although they are formal legal documents, you do not have to use them exactly the way they appear.

  • You can use the addendum in full as it exists without any changes
  • You can use an addendum and strike out language that is problematic for you
  • You can use language from an addendum without using the actual document

The important thing to remember is that addenda give you options and legal language which work in your favor but you can use them however you wish.

SPARC Addendum

The SPARC Author Addendum to Publication Agreement :

  • Reserves author's right to reproduce, distribute, perform, display, modify and authorize non-commercial uses by others.
  • Establishes prior non-exclusive licenses such as to funder or institution (e.g., under a faculty OA policy)  
  • Requires publisher to provide PDF or similar format of final article without technical restrictions

Scholar’s Copyright Addendum Engine

The Scholar’s Copyright Addendum Engine is essentially a build-your-own addendum generator. It offers 3 options:

  1. Delayed access ( six month delay)
  2. Immediate access
  3. Access-reuse option (the publisher makes the published version available to author within 2 weeks)

They also offer a generic version of the original MIT amendment.

All of the models:

  • retain non-exclusive rights to distribute, copy, modify, perform and display in connection with author’s scholarly work
  • give the author access to the final published version of the article
  • acknowledge a possible prior grant of nonexclusive rights for funder or institutional open access policies

The major addenda available

The major addenda available for use by scholarly authors are:

  1. SPARC Author Addendum to Publication Agreement   This addendum is from the Scholarly Publishing Academic Research Coalition, a well known scholarly communication resource for authors.
  2. UConn Modified Author Amendment to Publication Agreement   This amendment is based on the original MIT author's amendment, modified for use at UConn.
  3. Scholar’s Copyright Addendum Engine  This site offers three possible variations on an author addendum.

UConn Modified Author Amendment to Publication Agreement

The UConn Modified Author Amendment to Publication Agreement is based on the original MIT author amendment, which was adapted by the Boston Library Consortium for member institutions. The amendment was modified for use by authors at the University of Connecticut in 2006. Elements of this amendment include that:

  • The author retains non-exclusive right to use, reproduce, distribute, modify, perform, and display in digital or print form
  • Author may reuse their work in their teaching, conference presentations, and other scholarly, academic, and professional activities
  • This amendment reserves the author's right to use the final published version of the article on author’s or employer’s website or institutional or disciplinary repository
  • The author may also grant their institution nonexclusive rights as well