The librarians talked about open access and the importance of holding on to copyright for your articles, at the faculty workshop earlier this month. Placing your articles in the Scholarship@Cornell Law repository relies on your holding the copyright. An article has just appeared in SSRN on "Examining Law Journal Publication Agreements for Copyright Transfers and Self-Archiving Rights," at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1508044.
The study examines 78 law journal publication agreements and finds that a minority of journals ask authors to transfer copyright. Most journals also permit author to self-archive articles with some conditions. The study recommends journals make their agreements publicly available and use licenses instead of copyright transfers. [from the abstract]
The article is to be published May 2010 in Law Library Journal. Contact your liaison or me if you would like a copy of the paper.
Associate Law Librarian