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Rights Retention Strategy

Open Access benefits everyone. Retain your rights.
It’s good for you, for science, and for society


The Rights Retention Strategy (RRS) enables authors to exercise the rights they have on their manuscripts to deposit a copy of the Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) in a repository on publication and provide open access to it. To help researchers acknowledge and assert their rights, cOAlition S is launching an online campaign, under the theme “Publish with Power: Protect your rights“. The campaign aims to encourage researchers to retain their intellectual property rights, explains the steps they need to take and highlights the benefits for them and also for science and society. Below is a suite of resources about the Rights Retention Strategy, freely available for downloading, using and sharing.


Rights Retention: an explainer video

The author's rights quiz


The right to making one’s work Open Access: key messages 


Pre-submission & covering letter templates

cOAlition S released its Rights Retention Strategy (RRS) with the dual purpose of enabling authors to retain rights that automatically belong to the author, and to enable compliance with their funders’ OA policy via dissemination in a repository. Unfortunately, some publishers are being unclear and obstructive with authors about them asserting their copyright holders’ rights. They insist on the author agreeing to an embargo by using a contract, or other tactics, that conflicts with their grant condition. This comes at an advanced stage of the peer review process when the article review is accepted. At this point, authors are reluctant to challenge the publisher’s dictate and restart the whole process, but they are also confused and feel under threat of legal action by the publisher if they breach the journal’s conflicting embargo contract.

To help authors ask for the clarity they need before peer review proceeds, we have created the pre-submission letter template and the submission cover letter template as well as a user guide about when, how and why to use these templates.


User guide

Pre-submission letter template

Submission cover letter template


Resources for librarians and research administrators

cOAlition S has produced a number of resources that are available to be used freely by institutional research support staff, as part of their support services for their researchers. Some are released under an open licence and can therefore be adapted for use in a local setting. 



Consult with your funder for the specific way in which they apply the Rights Retention Strategy. For information, check the list of funders on the Implementation Roadmap of cOAlition S Organisations.


Have you benefited from the Rights Retention Strategy? Send us your feedback at info@coalition-s.org. We would love to hear your stories!