Authors and publishers

Increase your impact and enhance dissemination

The world of scientific publishing is changing. Major funding organizations, such as the Wellcome Trust, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the US National Institutes of Health, have adopted policies to ensure public access to the results of funded research. Faculty at institutions worldwide are passing resolutions requiring deposit of research in open repositories. At the same time, publishers are successfully experimenting with new business models and approaches to peer review. The result is that more authors and publishers are exploring their options for publishing openly.

Science Commons is here to help, providing resources for understanding your choices and tools for implementing them.


Open access to your workStudies have shown that open access (OA) articles are cited 50-250% more often than non-OA articles published in the same issues of the same journals. To help you retain the rights to open access to your work, Science Commons has created the Scholar’s Copyright Addendum Engine, deployed in collaboration with institutions such as the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Carnegie Mellon University. The Addendum Engine has a simple interface that lets you choose from among the popular copyright agreement addenda for retaining rights when you publish. These addenda ensure that you retain, at minimum, sufficient rights to place your work in an institutional archive or reuse it for your teaching and professional activities. You can also choose an addenda that ensures compliance with your sponsor’s or university’s open access mandate.

Promote open access at your institution — If you’d like to make your work available through your institution, you may be interested in Open Doors and Open Minds: What faculty authors can do to ensure open access to their work [PDF], a Science Commons/SPARC “how-to” guide for implementing OA at institutions. The guide provides a ten-point list of actions faculty can take to craft and implement a policy that maximizes the impact of research.

To offer additional guidance for implementing open access policy, we have also collaborated with SPARC to publish Complying with the NIH Public Access Policy — Copyright Considerations and Options [PDF], a white paper intended primarily for administrators at institutions who are responsible for ensuring compliance with the NIH policy.


Explore your options — Creative Commons licenses allow you a wider range of options than traditional copyright, providing a useful tool for exploring new models for publishing and disseminating research online. If you are launching a new open access publication, or considering changing your publishing policies and adopting Creative Commons licenses, we encourage you to contact us. We’ll be happy to answer your questions and point you in the right direction for more information.