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Journal Publishing Guide

Copyright & Licensing

Each journal’s editorial team is responsible for ensuring that copyright-related policies and practices are both lawful and clearly communicated to journal managers, authors, and readers.  This will help prevent copyright infringement claims (including potential litigation) and other complicated scenarios and is accomplished by developing and communicating sound editorial/journal policies including the use of a reasonable and clear author agreement.

Publication Agreements

Sometimes known as an Author agreement, a publication agreement is a legal document that sets out the relationship between the author or authors and the journal (or publisher). It makes the rights and responsibilities of both author and journal clear, as they relate to publishing an article. 

We have a template publication agreement that we recommend journals use. This template represents some of the policy decisions that we recommend, which align with our program’s commitment to supporting scholar-led publishing. This template agreement:

  • Does not include a transfer of copyright, which means that authors retain the right to use their work outside the terms of the Creative Commons licence. While it is common for publishers to require a transfer of copyright, we advocate for authors to retain copyright.

  • Provides the journal with the non-revocable rights needed to publish and disseminate the article(s) in current and future formats, including migrating journals to new platforms and preserving journal content. It also protects the journal from potential copyright claims related to third-party content.   

UAL Journals are encouraged to talk to us about adapting the publication agreement template for their own journal needs.  

We recommend having your publication agreement available on your website so that all prospective authors can review it before submitting it. Copies of completed publication agreements should be retained by the journal and provided to all authors listed on the agreement. We recommend uploading the completed agreement to the OJS Submission library feature for easier record keeping. This is especially important in the event that a  journal chooses to change its policies in the future.