- Research & Course Help
There are undoubtedly many faculty authors who are well-versed and intensely interested in copyright issues related to scholarly publishing. They work long, hard, and innovatively to foster solutions intended to increase accessibility to research results, scholarly articles and journals, and reclaim control of their scholarship. It is probably also safe to say that many faculty authors, devoted to their particular field of study, are reluctant to spend time on the legal intricacies of copyright, publishing agreements, and figuring out where one should insert this wonderful alternate language suggested be added to the publication agreement. Almost as a harbinger of things to come, many years ago, when speaking about alternate publication language to a group of faculty, someone said "Can't you just give us something to staple onto the back of the publication agreement that would take care of all this?"
Shortly thereafter, as though his words had floated up into the stratosphere over Washington D.C., SPARC, the Scholarly Publication and Academic Resources Coalition, released the first Author Addendum, designed to do just that. It was introduced via a brochure, titled "Author Rights Using the SPARC Author Addendum to secure your rights as the author of a journal article" that explained how to use the addendum, and which I had the great fun of authoring the initial brochure text. But a good idea never stands still and you can now generate your own specific Author Addendum at the Science Commons site here. They (SPARC and Science Commons) have even designed a way that you can enable authors to complete the addendum online through your own web site.
After SPARC's initial release of its Addendum, many universities developed their own particular version. Now we have multiple author addendums to choose from. While there are probably positives to having your own tailored version, it may be that so many versions dilute the acceptance of even the original SPARC addendum. Every time a different version shows up attached to a publication agreement, the publishers have to check it with their lawyers. And every time the lawyers get involved, money and time go out the door. The better course of valor may have been to have a single uniform addendum, deemed acceptable by the lawyers. Period. But, who knows... Here are some other versions:
And there are many more...