Big Ten Academic Alliance Author's Addendum Brochure

Know Your Rights

Committee on Institutional Cooperation

Know Your Rights - Cont'd


Did you know that you hold the right to your own copyright—unless you transfer ownership away?


Copyright isn’t an all-or-nothing proposition when it comes to scholarly publishing. Your authorship is in your control.


Do you want the right to:

  • Post your published articles on your website?
  • Place your published articles in a digital archive or repository?
  • Present your published article at conferences, for classroom instruction or in public lectures?
  • Share your published articles freely with colleagues to advance discourse and discovery?
  • Reuse elements of your work in future publications, books or other documents?

How Academic Authors Can Retain Their Rights

Your Rights

The CIC has developed an addendum that can be attached to publishing agreements. The addendum allows authors to retain the rights to their work for teaching and research purposes. Although the CIC institutions do not require their faculty to use the addendum, it is strongly recommended that they consider doing so.

What is the CIC author's addendum?

The CIC document is a model publishing addendum that affirms the rights of authors to share their work in a variety of circumstances, including posting versions of the work in institutional or disciplinary repositories:

  • In 2006, the Provosts of the CIC member universities unanimously endorsed the addendum to publication agreements.
  • Faculty governance at CIC campuses have also endorsed the statement and addendum.
  • The CIC author’s addendum is available for download at

Get the FACTS: Using the CIC author’s addendum

FACT: When a paper is accepted for publication in an academic journal, the publisher usually requires that the writer transfer copyright (ownership) of the paper to the publisher.

FACT: Publishers do not need the wholesale transfer of copyright to publish an article, only the author’s permission.

FACT: It is possible to alter the agreement between an author and a publisher to reserve certain rights.

FACT: Help is available. Librarians have expertise in working with publishers, so contact your university library office for information.

FACT: Many faculty and students don’t realize that it is possible to violate copyright when referencing their own published works.

Four Questions with Mark J. T. Smith, Birck Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Purdue University

Mark J.T. Smith is the Birck Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Dean of the Graduate School at Purdue University. The author of numerous publications in the area of speech and image processing, filter banks and wavelets, Dean Smith is a passionate advocate for the use of the CIC author’s addendum. He has taken extra measures to inform faculty and student researchers of why and how to use the document when working with publishers.

Q: Why have you used the CIC author’s addendum?

A: The simplicity of it. It’s a very simple way to be compliant with the copyright rules while at the same time providing freedom to use one's own descriptive text in other outlets.

Q: How does the author’s addendum help faculty?

A: In order for a faculty member to be productive he or she needs to be able to present materials and share papers with students and colleagues. No one wants to be writing to ask the publisher permission to use his or her own work.

"The CIC author’s addendum is a great way to protect the rights of the academy."

Q: Why should students be aware of these rights?

A: Because it may affect their academic career.The past practice has been, in many places, for the graduate student and advisor to publish work before the thesis document is completed. Students justifiably would like to use in their thesis documents some of the text, figures, and plots they presented in these publications. Having to rewrite or regenerate such materials because they have given away their rights to use their own work is inefficient and can increase time to degree.

Q: Do you see the use of the author’s addendum rising?

A: I certainly hope so. Everyone in the academy should be using the CIC author’s addendum in my opinion. It’s easy to use and just involves affixing a signed copy of the addendum to the publisher’s copyright form.

Contact Information

Committee on Institutional Cooperation
1819 S. Neil St.
Suite D
Champaign, IL 61820-7271

  • University of Chicago
  • University of Illinois
  • Indiana University
  • University of Iowa
  • University of Michigan
  • Michigan State University
  • University of Minnesota
  • University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Northwestern University
  • Ohio State University
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • Purdue University
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison

Also available as a downloadable PDF file: