Open Access Week 2017
October 23-29

The words "Open Access" with the orange open access lock logo.

Open Access Week is an annual international celebration to raise awareness of the issue of access to published scholarly research.

What is Open Access?

Open access is access to published scholarly research that is free of most copyright and licensing restrictions and free of charge to any reader, anywhere in the world! Learn more with our Overview.


What are your rights as an author?

As an author, you have the right to:

  • Publish and distribute your work in print or other media (e.g., a website)
  • Reproduce it (e.g., photocopy it)
  • Prepare a translation or other derivative work
  • Perform or display the work publicly
  • Authorize others to exercise these rights for your work

These rights are yours, yet when you publish your work (in a journal, for example), the standard publishing agreement may transfer your rights to the publisher. Surrendering your copyright to the publisher means you may need permission to:

  • Post the work on your website or course management system (e.g., Moodle, Canvas)
  • Place the material in course packs
  • Reuse excerpts in another work (e.g., your thesis or dissertation)
  • Make copies of the work for your colleagues
  • Place the work in a digital repository or archive

This short video explains your rights as an author and how you can protect your rights when publishing:

Author Rights


SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) and the Big Ten Academic Alliance offer information about author addenda and examples you can use when publishing your work.

Visit UMN's Copyright Services FAQ page to learn more about managing your rights.

Questions or comments about open access issues at the University of Minnesota, and in general, can be directed to