Scholar's Copyright Addendum Engine

Note: Creative Commons is updating this tool and its author addendum offerings. More information may be found here, including the latest draft of CC's author addendum, which is now open for comment.

The Scholar's Copyright Addendum Engine will help you generate a PDF form that you can attach to a journal publisher's copyright agreement to ensure that you retain certain rights.

(get started)


Each addendum gives you non-exclusive rights to create derivative works from your Article and to reproduce, distribute, publicly perform, and publicly display your article in connection with your teaching, conference presentations, lectures, other scholarly works, and professional activities. However, they differ with respect to how soon you can make the final published version available and whether you can authorize others to re-use your work in various ways. Below is a summary of the available options.

Creative Commons / SPARC Addendum

Access - Reuse:
You retain sufficient rights to grant to the reading public a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial license or similar license that allows the public to re-use or re-post your article so long as you are given credit as the author and so long as the reader's use is non-commercial. (This is a joint offering from Creative Commons and SPARC and represents a new version of the former SPARC Addendum.)

Other Options From Creative Commons

Immediate Access:
You retain sufficient rights to post a copy of the published version of your article (usually in pdf form) online immediately to a site that does not charge for access to the article. (This is similar in many ways to the MIT Copyright Amendment below)
Delayed Access:
You also have the right immediately to post your final version of the article, as edited after peer review, to a site that does not charge for access to the article, but you must arrange not to make the published version of your article available to the public until six months after the date of publication.

Additional Options from MIT

MIT Copyright Amendment:
Developed at MIT, this amendment is a tool authors can use to retain rights when assigning copyright to a publisher. It will enable authors to continue using their publications in their academic work at MIT, to deposit them into the MIT Libraries' DSpace repository, and to deposit any NIH-funded manuscripts on the National Library of Medicine's PubMed Central database. More information is available from the MIT Libraries.

Instructions for Use

(note these will be updated with the launch of the new addendum and engine)

  1. Enter the information requested and select the option of your choice from the menu below.
    Manuscript Title

    Type the full title of the article, as it will appear in the published version.


    Type the full name of the journal or publication in which the article will be published. Do not use abbreviated titles.

    ? +
    Author Information

    Type the full name (first name, middle initial, last name) of each author, as it will appear in the published version.

    To add an additional author, click the + button.


    Type the name of the publisher of the journal or publication in which the article will appear. This name can usually be found in the copyright assignment agreement provided by the publisher or on the masthead of the publication.

    Agreement Type

    Please refer to the FAQ for more help selecting your addendum.

  2. Save the PDF addendum that is generated.
  3. Print the addendum, and sign and date it.
  4. Sign and date the publisher's agreement. Immediately below your signature on the publisher's form, write: "Subject to attached Addendum." This is very important because you want to make clear that your signature is a sign that you accept the publisher's agreement only if the publisher accepts you Addendum.
  5. Make a copy of all three documents (the publisher's form, your Addendum, and your cover letter) for your records.
  6. Staple the three original documents together.
  7. Mail the three original documents to the publisher.