As a scholar-led press we at Arc are first and foremost professional medievalists ourselves and see ourselves as partners with scholars in making the outcomes of their research reach the desired readerships. To this end we pride ourselves on the fair balance of our contracts. While we as publisher protect the copyright of our authors, our authors also retain a long list of reserved rights, allowing them to make their material work in many ways without having to seek permission from us as publisher. We also encourage and are actively supporting innovative ways to make work available as Open Access.
The specific media in which we agree to publish the author’s material are clearly specified in the contract and any future, additional media can only take place with a separate written agreement between author and publisher.
We offer our authors a standard contract. It has been approved by Legal Counsel both from Amsterdam University Press and Western Michigan University and also incorporates standard texts from the association of Dutch publishers and legal expertise in the Netherlands. It therefore conforms to best practice in both North America and Europe. Should there be exceptional requirements for a particular publication, this is added in an annex to the basic contract.
The elements of the various contracts we offer are explained in these Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).
Let us first explain the elements at the head of a contract, the so-called Preamble:
- A contract is an agreement willingly entered into by two parties, namely those stated on the opening page. It ought to be balanced, so our agreement is composed in such a way that one section talks about rights or responsibilities for one party, and a parallel section similarly does so for the other party.
Note that a party can be one individual, several individuals, or some sort of corporate entity.
- The date refers to the date when the contract was approved to be drawn up, not necessarily the date when it was signed (particularly if there has been some discussion about clauses). The date when the contract was actually signed is indicated at the end where each party to the contract signs and dates the document. Multiple copies of the contract are signed, so that each party may then retain an archival copy for their own future reference.
The underlying exchange in this contract is that, while the author retains their Intellectual Property and this is inalienable (cannot be ceded to any third party), the author is permitting the publisher to commercialize and make public their work in this specific form. The publisher undertakes a number of services, including protecting the copyright of the author.
Our contracts aim to be fair and balanced and the various elements are explained further elsewhere.