Sally Morris (March 2009)
This PRC Summary Paper compares what is permitted by publishers' author agreements, and what authors think they are allowed to do.
The policies of 181 publishers, representing 75% of published papers, were examined. 1163 authors responded to an author rights survey asking them what they wanted to do with their papers, and what they believed they could do according to their contract with their publishers.
The results show that authors significantly underestimate what they are allowed to do with both the submitted and the accepted versions of their articles They are also unaware of how many publishers allow use of the published PDF version for sharing with colleagues, incorporating in their own work, or use in course packs. However, they significantly overestimate the extent to which they may self-archive the published PDF version.