Skip to main content

Scholarly Communications & Author's Rights

A guide for Maine Law faculty

Scholarly publishing is one aspect of scholarly communications. Scholarly communications refers to the ways that research and scholarly works are created, evaluated, and disseminated to the scholarly community, as well as how those works are preserved in the academic landscape. Scholarly communication includes both formal channels, such as peer-reviewed journal publications and informal channels, such as websites and blogs (ARL definition).

Research shows that the more open your publications are, the more likely other scholars will be to use your work, and the greater your scholarly impact.

Typically, an author submits a paper to several journals using Scholastica or ExpressO. If accepted, the author will sign a contract with the publisher, the article will be published, and the publisher benefits by selling subscriptions to the journal to libraries and other researchers. The author receives no remuneration from the publisher (and sometimes must pay-to-submit). Read more about how traditional publishing is evolving.

An author may be barred from self-archiving and publishing in open access sites by signing copyrights over to the publisher. To preserve author rights that permit such activity, use the author's addendum that follows. You may be required to publish in an open access repository by university policy or your funding source.

Open access repositories include SSRN, Digital Commons (i.e., bepress), and the new LawArXiv.

Funded Research & Open Access Requirements

NOTE: If your work has a funding sponsor, the use of Digital Commons may fulfill funding sponsors' open access requirements in instances when a sponsor gives its funded researcher the latitude to select a repository(ies) in which to store and disseminate her/his subject research results. This is most likely to be the case with private sponsors. Federal funding agencies are required by law to designate the repository(ies) to be utilized.

Because public access solutions vary by sponsor, researchers must pay close attention to proposal guidelines, award terms and conditions, and other sponsor-related communications to ensure they are complying with the requirements of their particular award. For more information about public access to the results of federally funded research please visit the Office of Research & Sponsored Programs' open access compliance page. Investigators also can consult the US Agency Public Access Plans webpage which provides an up-to-date list of, and links to, U.S. agency plans as they are published.