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Library resources for engineering faculty: Author's Rights

This guide was originally developed to support a joint presentation on ORSP and Library Resources

Author's Rights

What are Author's Rights?  Do you own the copyright to your published articles?  You may or may not depending on the contract you signed with the publisher.

Negotiating Contracts

Submitting your work for publication?  Check out these links to make sure you retain copyright to your own work.

Open Access

Interested in publishing in Open Access journals?  Check out these links for more information.

Buyer beware: A checklist to identify reputable publishers

The following list, authored by Declan Butler and originally published in the journal Nature (27 March 2013), is used with the permission of the copyright holder.

How to perform due diligence before submitting to a journal or publisher.

  • Check that the publisher provides full, verifiable contact information, including address, on the journal site. Be cautious of those that provide only web contact forms.

  • Check that a journal's editorial board lists recognized experts with full affiliations. Contact some of them and ask about their experience with the journal or publisher.

  • Check that the journal prominently displays its policy for author fees.

  • Be wary of e-mail invitations to submit to journals or to become editorial board members.

  • Read some of the journal's published articles and assess their quality. Contact past authors to ask about their experience.

  • Check that a journal's peer-review process is clearly described and try to confirm that a claimed impact factor is correct.

  • Find out whether the journal is a member of an industry association that vets its members, such as the Directory of Open Access Journals ( or the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (

  • Use common sense, as you would when shopping online: if something looks fishy, proceed with caution.

Predatory Journals

Unfortunately the rise of open access has also given rise to "predatory publishers" who prey on researcher's career driven need to publish with various tactics.  Review Beall's list of "Potential, possible, or probable predatory scholarly open-access publishers" and look at his criteria for adding journals to the list.

Beall's list is currently unavailable.  See this article for more information: No More 'Beall's List'


Cost effectiveness of open access journals

This website, powered by Eigenfactor and, attempts to measure the "prestige" of open access journals relative to the price authors are asked to pay in order to be published.