You own the copyright in your work as soon as your work is fixed in a tangible medium. You remain the copyright owner unless and until you sign it over to someone else, which you may be asked to do so when publishing your work with book or journal publishers.
Carefully read the contracts sent by publishers and negotiate what is important to you. One option is to replace objectionable language in standard contracts with language that meets your needs as an author. We’ve provided some links to alternative publishing agreements and more below.
American Mathematical Society
A guide and summary of copyright agreements for authors of research papers in journals.
Authors Alliance resources
The Authors Alliance advances the interests of authors who want to serve the public good by sharing their creations broadly. They provide extensive resources to help authors understand and enjoy their rights.
Copyright Registration Portal
Starting point for registering works with the U.S. Copyright Office.
Creative Commons licenses
Choose a Creative Commons license for you work.
OAD Author addenda
A list of alternative publishing agreements and author addenda by the Open Access Directory (OAD)
A program area within Creative Commons focusing on enabling and support open sharing of scientific information.
SPARC Author Addendum
Enter the author, title, journal, and publisher information of your article to generate appropriate language for amending your copyright agreement to meet your needs.