When you publish a journal article, you'll be asked to sign a publication agreement, also called an author agreement or copyright transfer agreement. These agreements typically consist of copyrights, other rights, royalty terms and preferred citational style.
Author agreements usually transfer copyright to the publisher, limiting your rights to use your work in the future.
Before signing, consider whether the author agreement will permit you to use your work in particular ways in the future. It should, for instance, permit you to do the following:
To preserve your rights consider the use of an addendum, which is a simple legal tool that amends the publisher's author agreement.
For additional information, see also Author Rights (PDF).
Image sources: Copyright. Wikipedia. Public domain. SPARC Author Addendum. CC BY 4.0.
The information presented here is intended for informational purposes and should not be construed as legal advice. We are (thankfully) librarians, not lawyers.
Image source: pxhere. CC0.