Copyright law grants exclusive rights to the copyright owner:
The copyright owner also has the ability to give these rights to someone else or share them. Authors should be aware of their rights as copyright owners, and they should be aware of rights they may give away when signing publisher agreements.
When it comes to determining an author’s right to re-use work that they have previously published in an academic journal, it is important to understand the difference between a few terms that publishers use to refer to different versions of an author’s manuscript throughout the publishing cycle.
Pre-print: Version of the article submitted to a journal for peer review. Many (but not all) journals will allow authors to share this version of their article on a pre-print server, such as medrxiv.
Post-print (aka Author’s Final Copy): Version of the article that has been edited based on reviewer comments and accepted for publication. This is the version of an article that non-open access journals typically allow authors to share (often after an embargo period) on their personal webpages, on an institutional repository (such as the Jefferson Digital Commons), or with PubMed Central to comply with the NIH Public Access Policy.
Publishers Version: Version of the article that has been edited and formatted by the publisher. If an article has been published in an Open Access Journal, this version can be shared by the author and used by others in accordance with the Creative Commons License chosen by the publisher or author.
Retaining more rights to your scholarship also ensures that you will be able to post your work in the Jefferson Digital Commons (JDC).
The Jefferson Digital Commons (JDC) is the free digital archive for articles published by Jefferson authors, Jefferson-sponsored journals, and historical materials from the University Archives and Special Collections. Since 2006, the JDC has had over one million full-text downloads. The goal of the Commons is to enhance the visibility of Jefferson scholarship and to promote Jefferson authors. Articles deposited in the Commons are indexed by Google, Google Scholar, Yahoo, Scirus and other major search engines, thereby extending the influence of your work and encouraging additional citations. Join the growing number of Jefferson authors who have their work freely available online.
Portions of this page were adapted from https://sparcopen.org/our-work/author-rights/brochure-html/ under a Creative Commons Attribution License.
The information presented in this guide is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Matters of law are subject to interpretation, and University Counsel is the source of authoritative information for Thomas Jefferson University. If you have specific legal questions pertaining to Thomas Jefferson University, please contact the Office of University Counsel.