Will journals accept a paper that I have already put up on Academia.edu? It has more than 800 views and has been cited more than 10 times. Does uploading my paper on an open source website nullify my chances at getting it published in a journal or is there a way to salvage my stupidity?
This depends on the policies of the specific journal you are submitting to. Most journals will permit authors to upload preprints to such websites without any issues, but it is always good to check the journal's policies to be sure.
Do I own my work or article? Do I have the right to post my work or article on Academia.edu?
The answers to these questions will depend upon your particular situation. The general rule is that the person who creates a work is the author and owner of the work. However, there are exceptions to that rule for works made for hire and for copyrights that have been transferred, assigned, willed or given to another party. For example, copyright ownership of a paper written by a faculty member may be determined in several ways, including by a written agreement between the university and the faculty member or by the university’s institutional policies on the ownership of copyrights for works created at the university and the allocation of royalties between the university and the author. In addition, publishers frequently require authors to transfer their copyrights to the publishers as a condition of publication. The transfer of ownership of a copyright to a publisher will prevent the author from future use of the work unless the author has agreed with the publisher that he or she reserves his or her right to use the work for certain purposes, such as teaching, research or other non-profit educational activities, or for certain types of use, such as rights to post an electronic version of the work on the faculty member’s website or on websites like Academia.edu. Many journals will also allow an author to retain rights to all pre-publication drafts of his or her published work, which permits the author to post a pre-publication version of the work on Academia.edu. According to Sherpa, which tracks journal publishers' approach to copyright, 90% of journals allow uploading of either the pre-print or the post-print of your paper.
You can use the online resource Sherpa, which is also mentioned by Academia.edu, to gather information about which journals have what policies about the uploading of preprints and postprints.