U.S. Copyright law gives the author of an original work, such as a scholarly article, the exclusive rights to reproduce, distribute, adapt, publicly perform, and publicly display the work.....until you sign a written agreement to transfer some or all of these rights.
SHERPA/RoMEO is a service run by SHERPA to show the copyright and open access self-archiving policies of academic journals. The database uses a colour‐coding scheme to classify publishers according to their self‐archiving policy. This shows authors whether the journal allows preprint or postprint archiving in their copyright transfer agreements. It currently holds records for over 22,000 journals