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Getting Started: Scholarly Communication

Publishing Agreements

See the Author Rights and Publishing Agreements Guide for more information.

What Does My Publisher Allow?

Want to post your work to your website or put it in an online repository like Digital Collections?

Check the publishing agreement you signed to see what is allowed.  Did you transfer all copyright or, just the right of first publication?

Remember to keep all publishing agreements that you have signed.  These are legal documents which detail your rights with respect to your work

Can't find the agreement you signed with the publisher? 

There are a couple of options:

1. Sherpa/Romeo-  Use this site to find a summary of permissions that are normally given as part of each publisher's copyright transfer agreement.  Not every publisher is included here but, it is a good place to start.

2.  Website of the publisher-  Visit the website of the company who published the work.  They will usually have an "instructions for authors" section which includes information about the copyright transfer agreement.  Sometimes this information is found under "permissions/reprints" on the website. 

Which Version Can Be Used?

The following definitions are from the Sherpa/RoMEO site and will help to clarify how they define various versions.


  • The first draft of the article, before peer-review, and sometimes even before any contact with a publisher. These are most often shared in a Preprint Repository that contains articles prior to peer-review, e.g.,

Accepted Version

  • The final author-created version that incorporates referee comments and is the accepted for publication version. Also known as: Authors Accepted Manuscript (AAM), Authors accepted version, Final Author version, Post-print.

Publisher Version

  • The publisher-created published version, that has been peer-reviewed and copy edited. Also known as: Final Published Version, Version of Record.

This means that in terms of content, Accepted Author Manuscripts (post-prints) are the article as published, but without the typesetting, logos, or page numbers. Publishers often reserve for themselves their own arrangement of type-setting and formatting. Typically, this means that the author cannot use the Publisher Version (Final Author PDF), but may often use the Preprint or Accepted Version for sharing in a repository and making more widely available.

Find Author Accepted Manuscript

Direct2AAM is a set of guides to turn the often unsuccessful hunt for author accepted manuscripts (AAM) into a simple set of instructions that’ll always bring results. The guides, available for most major journals, provide easy to follow instructions for authors to obtain an Author Accepted Manuscript from their journal submission system, where the AAM is stored during the publishing process.

For more information and to view the instructions, visit Direct2AAM.

Keep Your Final Accepted Version Copy!

Many publishers do not allow posting of the PUBLISHED version of articles on websites or in online archives/repositories. 

Best strategy is to keep a copy of the Accepted Version (post-print, reviewed) text. This has all the data and information you want to impart. It just lacks the publishers formatting for the journal. 

Scholars are most often interested in communicating and sharing their ideas, not necessarily the publisher's formatting. Keeping that final Accepted Version will often enable greater dissemination by the author.