Many who question the Open Access movement do so out of the belief that if they do not relinquish their copyright to the publisher, their article will not get published. This is not the case. Retaining copyright is important because it allows authors to control their own intellectual output. Publishers understand the importance of retaining copyright, which is why they often ask to hold the copyright of an article. Still, a great many publishers allow their authors to retain their copyright and to put copies of their publications into repositories, once the article has been a published (a post-print). Fewer publishers allow for depositing pre-prints (articles which have not yet been published) but some publishers do allow this to happen even while they are publishing the article. In some cases the article in the repository may not contain all of the images or extra information that the final published article contains, but it may provide information which can lead to better science.
To view publishers’ copyright and archiving policies, visit the following website: http://www.sherpa.ac.uk/romeo/