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URI Open Access Policy

This guide contains instructions for complying with the URI Open Access Policy as well as background information on the Policy.

Obtain an author addendum

To protect yourself from a potential breach of contract that could arise from a transfer of copyright to a publisher that does not acknowledge URI's prior nonexclusive license, we recommend that you fill out the addendum below and convey it to your publisher. Even without the attachment of an addendum, the nonexclusive license to the University of Rhode Island will still have force unless it is waived for a particular article.


Author Addendum Instructions

  1. Download the PDF document "Addendum to Publication Agreement" below.

  2. Fill out the form and digitally sign and date it. [Or fill it out, print it, and sign and date it manually.]

  3. Sign and date the publisher's agreement. Immediately below your signature on the publisher's agreement, write, "Subject to attached Addendum." [If your publisher uses a web-based form for their publication agreement, print out the web page and write: "Subject to attached Addendum."]

  4. Make copies of both the publisher's form [or web page] and the addendum for your records.

  5. Email or mail both documents to the publisher. 

  6. If you receive a signed copy of the addendum back from the publisher, please send a copy to or mail it to:

Library Digital Initiatives
Carothers Library & Learning Commons
15 Lippitt Road
Kingston, RI 02881

Addendum FAQ's

What is an author addendum?

An author addendum is a simple legal tool. The typical addendum is a short document, used to amend the publication agreement required by a publisher. You have the option to use an addendum with a publisher's agreement, so that the agreement will take proper account of the University of Rhode Island's license. 


Is there someone I can contact if I have questions about the author addendum?

Yes. You can get help on all issues involving the Open Access Policy from the University Libraries at


How will my publisher react?

The Faculty Senate Designate for the URI Open Access Policy has contacted over 400 U.S. and international publishers to inform them of the Policy and how it will affect them, and to ask for their cooperation. Many publishers have offered their full support of the Policy, while some have indicated that they will require waivers.


What if the journal publisher refuses to accept my addendum or wants to negotiate it?

If the publisher refuses to abide by the University of Rhode Island Open Access Policy, you can seek a waiver of the policy for a particular article. Please feel free to contact the University Libraries at for further assistance. 


What if the publisher tells me I don't need the addendum because the publisher's agreement already permits immediate posting of the article in an institutional open access repository?

We advise that you still use the addendum, because the nonexclusive license to the University of Rhode Island enables the University to allow you and others to make various beneficial uses of the article, so long as the article is not sold, for example, allowing the use of the article in a course pack or in a courseware program like Brightspace. These beneficial uses may be in conflict with provisions of the publication agreement.

Thus, to avoid a conflicting transfer of copyright to the publisher and to protect yourself from a potential breach of contract, using the addendum is a good idea. However, if the publisher's agreement is wholly consistent with the University of Rhode Island's license, you do not need to use the addendum. This may be the case, for example, for some open access journals.


What should I do if my article has coauthors?

Even if you are not the corresponding author dealing with the journal publisher in connection with the article, you may still decide to use the addendum with the publisher's agreement so that the terms of the agreement will not be in conflict with the license granted to the University of Rhode Island. You can fill out an addendum for the article that may be used by your corresponding co-author.

Contact information

The University of Rhode Island Open Access Policy is administered by the Faculty Senate.

The Faculty Senate's Committee for Research and Creative Activities serves in an advisory capacity to the Faculty Senate regarding the implementation and interpretation of the Policy.


Julia Lovett

Associate Professor / Digital Initiatives Librarian
Faculty Senate Designate for the University of Rhode Island Open-Access Policy
(401) 874-5079

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.