Publisher agreements

When a publisher has agreed to publish your manuscript, the next step will be to discuss the terms in the publishing agreement or author contract. If the publisher agrees to publish the manuscript in open access, the agreement should contain the following terms:

  • The author retains his or her copyright and does not transfer this right to the publisher.
  • The publisher agrees to publish the work under an open license, typically a Creative Commons license. Publishers usually have a preference for the license under which they publish OA books, but legally this is a decision for the copyright holder (more information about licenses here).
  • The publisher cannot claim exclusive publication rights, as the work should be made freely available for further distribution under the terms of the license. However, the publisher can ask for first publication rights.
  • In return for publishing the manuscript in open access, the publisher will usually negotiate a fee, the ‘book processing charge’ or ‘open access publication fee’. This fee is an eligible cost under the ERC grant, provided the cost is incurred during the grant period and the usual criteria for the eligibility of costs as stated in the grant agreement are fulfilled.

If the publisher does not provide the option to publish the manuscript in open access, the agreement should provide for the possibility to self-archive the manuscript and make it open access after a certain embargo period. Self-archiving is explained in more detail here.