As the author of your work you are the copyright holder, unless and until you transfer the copyright to a publisher by signing an agreement (Copyright Transfer Agreement, CTA). Most of the time, the publisher will ask you to sign an exclusive licence agreement which means that all financial rights are transferred to the publisher and that you as the author are no longer free to use your work as you wish.
When you read an agreement, pay attention to the rights you transfer to the publisher and ask you will I retain the right to:
Key steps to protect your authors rights
Don't hesitate to negociate with the publisher and ask when you are not sure about the permissions granted to you as the author. You can also use an addendum to your publication agreement in order to secure your rights.
What will you find on this page
"The Rights Retention Strategy is a tool for researchers to retain sufficient rights on their scientific articles so that they can make them available in immediate open access, regardless of the distribution model of the journal in which they are published. This strategy allows the unrestricted dissemination of knowledge within the scientific community and beyond" (Guide for implementing the RRS).
This strategy is supported by the Coalition S, a group of funding agencies, which initiated Plan S. The ANR and the European Commission are members of this coalition. All scientific articles resulting from projects funded by these two agencies must be available in open access from the date of publication and under a CC-BY licence.
The strategy requires that at least the Author's Accepted Manuscript (AAM) is published under a CC BY licence with no embargo.
At the time of submission the author is invited to add a formula directly on the text or in the letter to the editor:
“This research was funded, in whole or in part, by l’Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR), project ANR-nn-XXXX-nnnn. For the purpose of open access, the author has applied a CC-BY public copyright licence to any Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) version arising from this submission.”
Source : Implementing the rights retention strategy for scientific publications
Creative Commons (CC) is a non-profit organisation that offers standardised licences that enable others to reuse works published online. With CC licences, authors can specify the terms and conditions under which their works may be reused. They do not replace copyright. When you choose a CC licence, it is important to think carefully about how you want your work to be used, as different licences provide different permissions.
The licences consist of 4 types of rights which are combined into 6 different licences :
The CC-BY licence is normally recommended for publishing open access articles. In France and Europe, public funding bodies are more and more requiring its use. This licence grants users the freedom to share and re-use published content as long as the original author is attributed.
More restrictive CC licences (eg. CC-BY-SA or CC-BY-NC-ND) can be used for long-text formats allowing you to preserve the integrity of your works and to retain exclusivity over their commercialisation.
CC licences cannot be withdrawn.
If you need help for choosing your CC licence, you can use this tool.
If you want to know more about open access obligations in Horizon Europe and CC BY licences, you can read this article.
The Digital Republic Bill (art. 30) allows authors of articles resulting from research funded by half public funds (French or European) to disseminate online the final version of their manuscript accepted for publication within 6 months in STM and 12 months in SHS, regardless of the agreement signed with the publisher and regardless of the nationality of the publisher.
As a doctoral student and writer of your thesis, you are the only author. Your thesis director has no rights to your work. You are free to distribute and publish it. Unless your thesis is confidential!