You will most likely publishing or begin the process of seeking publishing your first article while in graduate school. It might be as a co-author with one of your faculty mentors, or it might be a paper from a seminar that your professor encouraged you to submit. Regardless, publishing is a long path full of many pitfalls. Make sure to check out our Researcher Resources for Publishing & Learning guide, but check out some of the resources listed below to get your started.
According to the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC), authors are increasingly empowered to make decisions concerning their scholarly work. When you publish in a traditional (subscription access) journal, you will sign over some or all of your copyrights to the publisher. It is your responsibility to scrutinize any publication agreements and to negotiate any rights. Read SPARC's complete author rights brochure to learn more.
There are limitations on the creator’s exclusive rights, most notably fair use.
According to the section 107 of the United States Code, fair use of a copyrighted work for designated purposes such as “criticism, comment, news reports, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright” (17 U.S.C. § 107). Four factors are used to determine whether the usage of copyrighted materials is considered fair use. The Copyright Act of 1976 defines these factors as:
1. The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purpose,
2. The nature of the copyrighted work,
3. The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
4. The effect of the use upon the potential market for, or value of, the copyrighted work (17 U.S.C. § 107).
Although fair use may not give creators the opportunity to use copyrighted works as extensively as works in the public domain, fair use provides creators with a chance to build upon or transform copyrighted works.