Copyright Transfer Agreements (CTAs)
What is a Copyright Transfer Agreement (CTA)?
A Copyright Transfer Agreement is a legally-binding document that most publishers require authors to sign in order to grant the publisher the copyright in the work (article) in question.
What do I need to know about my CTA?
CTAs vary in length and complexity, but regardless of the nature of the CTA, it is important to ask several questions† before signing your rights away:
- What rights are you being asked to transfer to the publisher?
- At what point in the publishing process does the transfer occur?
- What rights do you retain?
- What are the publisher’s expectations of you in regard to posting, sharing, redistributing, or republishing the work?
- Are co-authors addressed? If so, how?
- What if the author is a government employee or the work is for hire?
- Did you come across any terms that you didn't understand?
Is it possible to modify my CTA in order to request certain rights?
Yes. The easiest way to request a modification of your CTA is to use a standard addendum that has been developed precisely for this purpose.
For more information on author addenda, please see here.
Examples of standard Copyright Transfer Agreements
NOTE: The terms of the agreement for these specific journals/publishers may have changed from the time they were posted to this site. Contact the journal/publisher for the most recent version.
|Journal or Publisher Name||Copyright Transfer Agreement [PDF]|
|American Anthropological Association||Author Agreement|
|American Journal of Occupational Therapy||Copyright Release Form - AJOT|
|American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education||Author Disclosure and Copyright Transfer|
|American Physical Society||Transfer of Copyright Agreement|
|American Sociological Review||Transfer of Copyright|
|Athletic Therapy Today||Transfer of Copyright|
|Journal of Psychiatric Practice||Authorship Responsibility, Financial Disclosure, and Copyright Transfer|
|Optical Society of America||Copyright Transfer Agreement|
|Science||License to Publish|
†These questions are adapted from: Andrea A. Wirth and Faye A. Chadwell. "Rights Well: An Authors’ Rights Workshop for Librarians." portal: Libraries and the Academy 10, no. 3 (2010): 337-354. http://hdl.handle.net/1957/17099