Publishing Agreements

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Disclaimer: As of spring 2013, new publishing agreements for new Michigan Publishing monographs and journals are in development. The information below represents our organizational practice prior to 2013, and might still be informative for you, but may be subject to change in the future. If you already have a publishing agreement with Michigan Publishing, it will not change. Any new agreements will continue to emphasize author rights, Creative Commons licensing, and long term archiving of content.

In order for Michigan Publishing to publish your content, we need to have permission to do so. Generally speaking, there are two arrangements that an author can have with a publisher. In the first arrangement, the author transfers the copyright for a work to a publisher or to another organization that disseminates the work. In the second, the author grants certain rights for publication to the publisher or other organization while retaining the copyright.

Michigan Publishing avoids acquiring copyrights, preferring that our authors or publishing partners (scholarly societies, journal editorial boards, series editors) maintain these and instead simply grant Michigan Publishing the right to publish the content online. We do not claim copyright on a compilation when there is another party (often, an editor or editors) to whom this copyright more appropriately belongs. Our philosophy is explained further below.

We recommend that editorial collectives incorporate (as an S corporation or an LLC) if they do not already exist as a legal entity. A lawyer should not be required for a group of individuals to incorporate in any US state; a librarian in your state can point you to appropriate forms.

In the model publishing agreements below, we strive to keep the language straightforward, but can only do so much to simplify something as complicated as copyright law. Please let us know if you have questions!

Contents

[edit] Agreements for authors of individual works not part of a larger collection

[edit] Section A: Agreement between Michigan Publishing and author(s)

In cases where Michigan Publishing publishes the work of a single author (or a group of authors) directly, without this work being part of a series or journal, then there is only one agreement needed: between the author(s) and Michigan Publishing. Michigan Publishing is considered the original publisher. In this agreement, the author retains the copyright while granting certain rights to Michigan Publishing (the publisher).

Signed agreements should be emailed as attachments, faxed (+1 734 615 1540), or mailed to:

Rebecca Welzenbach
Michigan Publishing
University of Michigan
1210 Buhr Building
839 Greene St.
Ann Arbor, MI  48104-3209

[edit] Agreements for scholarly societies, journal editorial boards, and series editors

In cases where Michigan Publishing publishes a series or journal, our "publishing partner"—the journal editorial board or series editor—acts as an intermediary between Michigan Publishing and the authors. Therefore, two agreements must be signed for each work to be published: one from Section B and one from Section C.

Who exactly is the "publishing partner"? If a series or journal is sponsored by a scholarly society, organization, or center, that organization would named as the publishing partner, and a representative from that organization would sign the agreement. However, many journals are actually run entirely by scholars without being legally incorporated. In such a case, it is helpful if the scholars involved legally incorporate or an institution can take on legal responsibility for the journal. Alternatively, an editor can take on sole responsibility for the journal and be named as the publishing partner.

[edit] Section B: Sample agreements between authors and publishing partners

We provide the following sample agreements for our publishing partners to use with author(s). In these documents, the publishing partner is called "the Journal" or "the Book Series". Michigan Publishing is not a party to these agreements, but publishing partners must have authors sign an agreement like one of these in order to avoid liability for copyright infringement when signing one of the agreements in Section C.

We recommend allowing authors to retain copyright of their work because the licensing terms in these agreements are sufficiently broad to allow the journal or book series to make future use of the work even without owning the copyright.

We recommend keeping on file the rights agreements you make with your authors, particularly for the contact information they include, in case you need to revisit the agreements in the future.

[edit] Section C: Agreements between Michigan Publishing and a publishing partner

Signed agreements should be emailed as attachments, faxed (+1 734 615 1540), or mailed to:

Rebecca Welzenbach
Michigan Publishing
University of Michigan
1210 Buhr Building
839 Greene St.
Ann Arbor, MI  48104-3209

[edit] Addenda to agreements

Some terms of our agreement are in addenda rather than part of the main agreement, either because we expect the terms in them to be updated more frequently or because they are optional.

Signed agreements should be emailed as attachments, faxed (+1 734 615 1540), or mailed to:

Rebecca Welzenbach
Michigan Publishing
University of Michigan
1210 Buhr Building
839 Greene St.
Ann Arbor, MI  48104-3209

[edit] Agreement between a publishing partner and a freelancer

Sometimes a freelancer needs to hire a freelancer to produce a graphic design or other work that by default receives its own copyright owned by the creator. To ensure that a publishing partner has the rights necessary to use that work, we provide a sample "work for hire" agreement to use with freelancers:

[edit] Agreements between a publishing partner and a subscriber

For subscription-based journals, a publishing partner will have contractual arrangements with subscribing libraries and/or individuals. Partners might wish to use Shared E-Resource Understanding (SERU) instead of managing contracts.

[edit] Agreements between a publishing partner and a content aggregator

Aggregators of content like JSTOR and EBSCO sometimes approach a publication that they wish to include and offer an agreement by which the rightsholder gives permission for the content to be included in their product.

Since these services usually charge a fee for subscribers to access them, these services often offer some sort of share of revenue to the rightsholders of the content. This offer is not always offered to open-access publications. If royalties are offered, ask for a royalty estimate. A vendor ought to be willing to both provide an estimate and explain how royalties are calculated. Similarly, the vendor ought to provide usage statistics.

These agreements are usually non-exclusive, meaning the agreement does not restrict your ability to assign agreements with other vendors. You shouldn't sign an exclusive agreement unless the journal is well compensated for this and you think this outweighs the journal not being found elsewhere.

Some agreements give the vendor the right to sub-license the content elsewhere, such as selling articles individually on Amazon. Consider whether you want to allow this and what royalties you might receive for this.

If you decide to sign an agreement, the aggregator will likely ask that you deliver each issue to them by FTP. Suggest that they suscribe to the RSS feed for the journal to receive notification of new issues or that they harvest metadata through OAI-PMH. Your contact at Michigan Publishing may be able to provide other options.

[edit] Additional information on Michigan Publishing's rights agreements

[edit] Our philosophy

Michigan Publishing is committed to intellectual property policies and practices that promote authorial and institutional control of scholarly assets. Like any other publisher, Michigan Publishing requires that the author warrant that the work is original and that it contains no matter that is defamatory or otherwise in violation of law and of the rights of others. Should the work contain any copyrighted material of others, Michigan Publishing requires that the author promptly obtain written permission from the copyright owner and include information about any use restrictions when submitting the work to Michigan Publishing.

Michigan Publishing also believes that wide and open access is advantageous to both the creators and consumers of scholarship. Michigan Publishing encourages authors to seek other non-exclusive publication venues should they so desire. Michigan Publishing particularly encourages its authors to deposit their works in open-access institutional and disciplinary repositories.

[edit] Multiple authors

When a work has more than one author and the copyright to the work is transferred non-exclusively to the publisher, the law requires the agreement of only one of the authors. (For exclusive transfers, this is not the case.) However, as a courtesy and to avoid conflicts of interest, Michigan Publishing's non-exclusive agreements require that all authors be notified for certain actions.

[edit] The right to relicense

In all of Michigan Publishing's agreements, the author grants the right for Michigan Publishing or the publishing partner to relicense a work. This right is important because it allows the work to be made available in the future with similar restrictions on use by other entities besides the University of Michigan. But it is also helpful to readers: Michigan Publishing can explicitly allow readers to make certain uses of the work without needing to ask for permission. By marking copyrighted content as available for reuse, creators offer the academic community and the public a valuable contribution to a growing set of scholarly resources that are free from traditional permissions barriers. In fact, the Directory of Open Access Journals essentially requires that you make content available under such terms.

Michigan Publishing intends to release journal content under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license (in line with the Budapest Open Access Initiative definition of open access) and other content under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 license, which allows readers to make copies of the work for non-commercial purposes, assuming that the author is credited and the work is not modified. Some day there might be a better alternative to the Creative Commons-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives license. For this reason, the agreements do not require use of this license. If another license will be used in the future, Michigan Publishing or the publishing partner will make a good-faith effort to notify the author.

Michigan Publishing's participation in Creative Commons reflects our commitment to contributing to the growing pool of scholarly resources available for reuse. Creative Commons (CC) is a non-profit organization that created a set of simple, easy-to-understand copyright licenses. These licenses carve out a spectrum of options between the "all rights reserved" of traditional copyright and the rights-free public domain. Copyright comes with a number of rights, and the creator of a work may not want or need all of them. Before CC, there was no easy way for creators to share their rights, even if they wanted to. CC's "Some Rights Reserved" model helps copyright holders to share their work easily without giving up all their rights, and it allows everyone to find work that is free to use without permission.

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