In order to submit work to CUNY Academic Works, you must hold the copyright to the work or have the approval of the copyright holder(s) to submit the work. Submitters who deposit works grant to CUNY the non-exclusive right to archive and distribute the work through CUNY Academic Works and any successor initiatives. Entering into this agreement does not alter your copyright or other rights you may hold.
Many journals now permit authors to archive a version of their published article on an institutional repository - e.g. the final draft post-peer review. Some may require an embargo period (Academic Works can do that), and/or a link to the article of record on the publisher’s site. You can check with your publisher to determine the repository policy before submitting the work. If you set an embargo period, the metadata record for the work will reside in the repository but the work itself will not be publicly available until the embargo expires.
The SHERPA/RoMEO website provides a summary of journal publishers' archiving policies, though CUNY has not verified that information. Many publishers also provide information on their policies on their own websites. E.g.
If you already signed a publishing contract with a conventional publisher, you should first evaluate the terms of your contract to determine if it allows you to make your work openly accessible and, if so, under what terms. If it does not, you may need to work with your publisher to secure permission or regain the right to make your work openly accessible. Publishers are often open to work with authors to make their works available in the way the author wants, particularly when a work is no longer profitable to the publisher.
For more information on how to understand the terms in your existing contract and how to work with your publisher, see the Authors Alliance guide Understanding Rights Reversion: When, Why, and How to Regain Copyright and Make Your Book More Available.
As open access has become more common, conventional publishers have become more amenable to including open-access-friendly terms in their contract, either by default or upon negotiation with the author. If you have not already signed a publishing contract with a conventional publisher, the following four steps may help you work out an open-access-friendly agreement.
In responding to publisher pushback, authors should keep in mind that their works, and the copyrights in them, are valuable and carry weight in negotiations. Authors may find they have more bargaining power to retain open access rights in negotiations with conventional publishers than they initially expect.
Adapted from the Authors Alliance guide Understanding Open Access: When, Why, & How to Make Your Work Openly Accessible, made available under a Creative Commons Attribution license. Copyright © 2015 Authors Alliance, CC BY 4.0