Know your rights as an author! In the traditional publishing agreement, all rights —including copyright — go to the journal, which might preclude you from incorporating sections of your article in later works, distributing the article to your class or colleagues, or posting it on your website.
The SPARC Author Addendum is a legal instrument that modifies the publisher’s agreement and allows you to keep key rights to your articles. The Author Addendum is a free resource developed by SPARC in partnership with Creative Commons and Science Commons, established non-profit organizations that offer a range of copyright options for many different creative endeavors.
Open Access publishers typically use a Creative Commons License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
If you have already published an article, SHERPA/ROMEO will allow you to research and determine a publisher's policy for self-archiving (Green OA).
See also Nancy Sims, "It’s all the same to me! Copyright, contracts, and publisher self-archiving policies," College & Research Libraries News (2015).
As with toll access journals, it is always important to assess the quality of a journal or publisher before submitting an article for publication. The tenets in our Faculty Publishing Guide hold true for open access content as well.
Be mindful of predatory journal practices and if you are unsure of the quality of a journal, ask a librarian!