The Copyright Office makes it easy for authors to register copyright on their own works. Their website contains useful information, including what can be copyrighted, a listing of current fees, and updated FAQs.
The Copyright Office offers an online copyright filing interface, that both lowers your filing cost and speeds up registration times.
Authors who publish articles in scholarly/peer-reviewed journals may be required to sign away copyright to their scholarly works, either in full or part, when signing the Copyright Transfer Agreement. With this transfer, authors lose the rights to reproduce, distribute or copy their own works without permissions from publishers. The publishers, in turn, sell licenses to these works back to authors' institutions/libraries for exorbitant prices.
By retaining control of copyright, authors would take control of their scholarly works.
Signing copyright agreements with publishers does not have to be an all or nothing deal. Authors have the option to negotiate with publishers in order to retain copyright to their works. Authors can either:
If publishers are unwilling to negotiate their copyright transfer agreements, authors have the option to:
SCRUTINIZE THE PUBLICATION AGREEMENT
(Quoted from Authors Rights, SPARC)