Why should I worry about where I publish?

Although you generally own your own work as a scholar many journals take away your copyrights when you publish with them. If you sign away your copyrights you may have to ask permission or even pay to use your own work in instruction, presentations, and future scholarship.

If I want to be published do I have to take whatever terms the publisher sets?

No. The terms of a publication agreement can be negotiated just like any contract. Although some publishers may pressure you to accept certain terms the CDSC is here to help you protect your rights as an author.

Are there any resources or tools to help me negotiate my rights as an author?

The CDSC has many tools available to help you understand what you are being asked to sign and assert your rights. You can also contact the CDSC to arrange a consultation with our legal experts who can walk you through your agreement and help you craft an agreement that protects your rights as a scholar.

Is it true that open access works are more highly read and highly cited?

There is strong academic evidence that "open" works that are available without cost are viewed more often than those published in "closed" journals that require a fee to access.

Are open access journals of comparable quality to traditional "closed" journals?

Scholarly open access journals use the same types of peer review as all journals. When you are evaluating an OA journal you should take the same steps as you would with any journal: look at the content, speak with your peers, and so forth. It may also be helpful to consult tools such as the PLoS Article Level Metrics or BioMed Central's Impact factors.

What tools are available to help me evaluate open access journals?

The CDSC has several tools to help you navigate these issues. The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOJ) provides a listing and description of most major open access journals while SHERPA/RoMEO provides a searchable database of all major journals with information about their open access and author's rights policies. You can also contact the Center with specific questions or to schedule a consultation for placing your article.

What's the difference between "open access" and "public access?"

"Public Access" as it is mandated by agencies such as the NIH and by the proposed Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA) permits publishers to embargo scholarship, keeping it locked up for a year or longer. Only open access makes scholarship available as soon as it is published.

If it was fair use to include an image in my presentation or journal article will it also be fair use to include it in my monograph?

Not necessarily. Because fair use rarely provides definitive answers and because the context of publishing a monograph is different from publishing in a journal or especially a presentation many publishers require more assurance about rights clearance for your monograph. Although we do not manage large-scale rights clearance the CDSC can help you create a plan for clearing the rights needed for your monograph.