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Information for Authors: Scholarly Publishing


SFU Open Access Policy
In January 2017, SFU Senate endorsed the Open Access Policy (OAP) acknowledging the commitment of SFU faculty, students, and postdoctoral fellows to share the products of their SFU research with the broadest possible audience. To satisfy the policy requirement in one easy step, SFU researchers can provide an electronic copy of the finalized text of their published articles to the Simon Fraser University Library. The Library will make the articles available to the public, taking into consideration requirements for access delay.

Know your rights

Following the peer-review process and after an article has been accepted for publication, publishers require authors to sign a copyright transfer agreement or license to publish consent form before proceeding with formal publication.  Ask yourself the following.

  • What rights as an author do I retain?
  • Can I make copies for my own lectures or classroom instruction?
  • Can I post the work on my university/research website?
  • Can I distribute my work to colleagues and/or students who request a copy?

When the standard copyright agreement limits your rights as an author, you can negotiate with your publisher the retention of your right to reproduce, reuse and publicly present your work for non-commercial purposes. Sherpa/Romeo provides a summary of archiving permissions that are normally given as part of each publisher's copyright transfer agreement.

  • Green - authors may archive pre-print (prior to any peer review) and post-print
  • Blue - authors may archive post-print (final draft after peer review).
  • Yellow - authors may archive pre-print
  • White - authors may not deposit work to an archive nor to an institutional repository.

Retain your copyright using the following tools

SPARC Canadian Author Addendum

  • Use this Addendum to secure a more balanced agreement by retaining select rights: such as the right to reproduce, reuse, and publicly present the articles you publish for non-commercial purposes.
  • This form complies with granting council public access policies, such as the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Policy on Access to Research Outputs.

SPARC Author Addendum

  • The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition created this addendum for authors to preserve key rights as the author of the journal article.

Scholars Copyright Addendum Engine

  • Generate a PDF form which you can attach to a journal publisher's copyright transfer agreement, and which reserves certain rights for the author.

Avoiding predatory publishers

Open Access publishing is increasingly recognized as an important option for publishing scholarly research that can be freely accessed by anyone with an internet connection. Unfortunately, predatory publishers have started posing as legitimate Open Access publishers.

It isn’t always easy to determine if a publisher or journal is legitimate.

Here are a few questions to help you decide:

shark swimming in sea of open access
  • What is the quality of articles? Are they of a low standard or poorly copy-edited?
  • Who is on the editorial board? Are they well-established in their field? Some predatory journals list researchers on their editorial boards who are not affiliated with them, so you may want to contact a member to confirm their affiliation is legitimate.
  • Is the journal indexed in relevant databases? You can determine where a journal is indexed using Ulrich’s, which includes entries on over 300,000 journals.
  • Does the publisher have a clear peer-review process and provide details about it?
  • Does the journal or publisher belong to the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association or the Directory of Open Access Journals?
  • Do you get any results when you do an online search for the name of the publisher or journal and keywords such as complaint, scam, or fraud?

These resources will help you evaluate publishers and journals:

When in doubt, you can contact your liaison librarian, who can do some digging to see what can be found on the publisher or journal.

Adapted from: The University of Western Australia. (2013, September 11). Evaluating open access publishers. Retrieved from

Understanding Open Access policies

Many funding agencies are adopting Open Access policies that require funding recipients to make their research freely accessible. The Tri-Council agencies (CIHR, NSERC, SSHRC) have an open access policy on publications. Understand what these policies mean for you, and how the library can help.