October 2006,1 and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has included
author-rights language for a number of years in its standard license. However,
despite these individual efforts, there is at present no broadly accepted
community standard for securing
author rights within a library
content license.
The idea of developing model
language for author rights in
library content licenses emerged
at a meeting on policy
development for open-access
repositories hosted by the
Association of Research Libraries
(ARL) in January 2009.2
Participants at that meeting
posited that developing
standardized language to address
the right of re-use and deposit
within such agreements would
facilitate the broad-based
implementation of emerging
policies and best practices for
making scholarly content
available to a wide audience.
This idea was elaborated in an
article by Ellen Duranceau and
Ivy Anderson in ARL’s Research
Library Issues, no. 263 (April
To further this effort, an ad
hoc working group4 was self-
organized in late 2009 to explore
the feasibility of drafting standard
language for author rights that could be included in library content licenses.
The working group is now publishing the following draft recommended license
clause for public comment and discussion. Readers are encouraged to share this
RLI 269
Model Language for Author Rights in Library Content Licenses
Author Rights Model License Language
(Version 0.8, April 2010)
Authors’ Rights to Use Their Own Work. Notwithstanding any terms or
conditions to the contrary in any author agreement between Authors and Licensor,
Authors affiliated with Licensee whose work (“Content”) is accepted for publication
within the Licensed Materials shall retain the non-exclusive, irrevocable, royalty-free right
to use their Content for scholarly and educational purposes, including self-archiving or
depositing the Content in institutional, subject-based, national or other open repositories
or archives (including the author’s own web pages or departmental servers), and to
comply with all grant or institutional requirements associated with the Content.
For the avoidance of doubt, it is the intent of the parties to this agreement that
Authors are third party beneficiaries of this provision of the Agreement.
Content: Any version (including the published version) of any work by an
author affiliated with Licensee that is published in the Licensed Materials.
Scholarly and educational purposes: Purposes encompassing teaching,
research, and institutional needs, including but not limited to the right to (a) use,
reproduce, distribute, perform, and display the Content in connection with teaching,
conference presentations, and lectures; (b) make full use of the Content in future
research and publications; (c) republish, update or revise the Content in whole or in
part for later publication; (d) meet requirements and conditions of research grants or
publishing subventions provided by government agencies or non-profit foundations,
and; (e) grant to the Author’s employing institution some or all of the foregoing
rights, as well as permission to use the Content in connection with administrative
activities such as accreditation, mandated reports to state or federal governments,
and similar purposes. In all cases, the Author and/or the Author’s employing
institution will be expected to provide proper citation to the published version.
Repositories or archives: Open-access digital repository services such as
those provided by the Author’s employing institution, an academic consortium,
a discipline-based entity, or a governmental funding agency.
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