How do I retain copyright when publishing a paper?

Published on
May 16, 2022

Publishing a paper usually means transferring your copyright to the publisher. However, you may want to retain part of the copyright. To help you with this, the Dutch Universities have developed a model contract.

Use the model contract

When you submit your manuscript to a journal, the publisher might ask you to transfer your copyright to the publisher. This is a common request, but this does not mean that you are not allowed to negotiate about retaining your copyrights. To help you in this process, you can use the model contract 'Licence to publish'. This model contract is developed by the Dutch Universities and is available in both English and Dutch.

On this website you can find other examples (in Dutch) of consent forms, templates, letters and model contracts from various educational institutions that you can use.

Why retain part of your copyright?

If you transfer your copyright to the publisher during the submission process, you may not be allowed or you may need to ask permission from the publisher to use your manuscript for further research, for educational purposes or when you want to publish your paper later as chapter in your PhD thesis. The model contract helps you if you want to retain these rights. Do you know that even if you publish Open Access under a Creative Commons license, you may still unintentionally transfer copyright to the publisher?


Do you have questions about the model contract or about the forms you received from your publisher? You can read this blog, or contact the legal officers of your Science Group. If you have another question about copyright law, please contact the copyright experts of CIP.