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Copyright for authors

Copyright is designed to protect you as the author of your work (moral rights) and to encourage the distribution of your work (exploitation rights).

These rights of an author are further explained on the webpage Copyright basics.

Once you have written an article or a book, the next step is to find a publisher. Once you have found a publisher, they will want you to sign a contract. Usually, this contract states that you transfer the copyright to the publisher. In this case, you lose all rights to your work. Another option is to propose to the publisher that you grant a license with exclusivity for a certain period. In that case the copyright remains with you. The SURF Foundation has made a short video (in Dutch) that explains why and how you can retain your copyright. 

Have you received a contract to sign from your publisher and are you not sure what happens to your rights when you sign this contract? Please send an email with the contract to auteursrecht@library.leidenuniv.nl, and we will help you understand its contents.

If your article will be part of your PhD dissertation, you can read more on our webpage Copyright and your PhD thesis. Would you rather publish in Open Access? Find out how to do this on our webpage on Open Access

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