Writing and Publishing: Resources for Researchers and Scholars

This guide is brought to you by the Office of Scholarly Communications, where our goal is to help you reach yours.

You want to safeguard the rights to your work. You also want to respect the rights of others when you use their work in your own research, scholarship, teaching, or creative endeavors. The guide Author/Creator Rights and User Rights directs you to resources and services offered by the University Libraries which will enable you to make responsible decisions about sharing your work and using the work of others.

For personal consultation, contact your subject librarian or make an appointment with the Scholarly Communications team.

What You Need to Know about a Book Publishing Contract


When you sign a publishing contract, you make decisions which directly affect your book's availability.   In order to decide which rights to retain and which to transfer to a publisher, you need to understand U.S. copyright law and the author-publisher partnership. In the article, The Rights Provisions of a Book Publishing Contract, the veteran editor and experienced author Melody Herr discusses copyright ownership and describes the ways in which copyright's components apply to scholarly books. After enumerating the benefits and drawbacks of allocating specific rights to a publisher, she highlights contract wording to watch for and suggests the rights an author may wish to retain by negotiating an addendum.  She then explains how an author may reclaim rights granted to a publisher through reversion or termination of transfer.

Because this article was published in the Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication, in the conclusion, Herr addresses library and information professionals and recommends that outreach programs target scholars at critical moments when they face decisions regarding publication of their work.  

Article Hyperlink:  https://jlsc-pub.org/articles/abstract/10.7710/2162-3309.2273/

 Article Citation:  Herr, M. (2018). The rights provisions of a book publishing contract.  Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication, 6 (General Issue),eP2273. https://doi.org/10.7710/2162-3309.22873