Most copyright transfer agreements (also known as publishing agreements or journal publishing agreements) leave few rights with the author. Open access publishing generally permits the author to retain most of these rights. Authors can also attempt to negotiate an addendum to the copyright transfer agreement or pursue a Creative Commons license. In a typical copyright transfer agreement, authors surrender a host of rights including the right to translate, perform, republish, abridge, and transmit. Since transmission of research is central to the scholarly communication cycle, these types of agreements might be seen to hinder further research and limit publication impact.
While the Green Route to open access publishing (also known as self-archiving) permits the unfettered distribution of research without tolls, copyright is still generally retained by the publisher. It may make sense to negotiate an author addendum with the publisher in order for the author to retain specific rights. For example, an author may wish seek to retain specific rights related to sharing and republishing. The resources list at the bottom of this page lists a number of sources for author addendums.
Many Open Access publications are released to the public under a Creative Commons license in which copyright is retained by the creator(s) of the work(s). When applying a Creative Commons license to a work, authors must be sure to choose one of the six licenses carefully. Similarly, users of material licensed under a Creative Commons license must be sure that that have understood the attached license before re-using the material.