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Write - Publish - Present Center

Information & Resources for professional writing, publishing, and presenting

Copyright Basics

Copyrighted material can be used in teaching and research under any of the following conditions

  1. The work in question is in the public domain.

  2. Permission has been granted by the copyright owner or through some other means such as a negotiated license agreement (such as those negotiated with publishers by the University Libraries or the Copyright Clearance Center.)

  3. The use falls within the four “fair use” factors as defined in Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C or falls under an educational use exemption as defined in Section 100 and as amended by the TEACH Act.

Open Access

Open Access Defined

"Open Access (OA) literature is digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions. What makes it possible is the internet and the consent of the author or copyright-holder.”  -- Peter Suber, [emphasis added.]

Making scholarship openly available allows others to read it, share it, and build upon it without seeking additional permissions.

Why Open Access?

Because Creative Commons (CC) licenses encourage the sharing and reuse of original work, they make scholarship more visible and more impactful. The CC organization supports the Open Access movement by allowing authors to proactively make their work available for other researchers and the public. However, CC licenses do not negate any publisher agreements that an author may have already signed.

What about Creative Commons?

Creative Commons licensing is one way that open access literature can be "free of most copyright and licensing restrictions," but there are other forms of open licenses, such as BioMed Central's Copyright and Licensing Agreement. CC licenses have become the most popular, though.

Where can I find Open Access literature?

Most academic publishers continue to hold "All Rights Reserved" for their publications, but Open Access publishers like the Public Library of SciencePeerJ, and Open Humanities Press make the work they publish available with CC licensing. For more information about open access scholarship, please visit the Directory of Open Access Journals, the Directory of Open Access Books, and the Open Access Directory.

Creative Commons

Creative Commons licenses enable the free use, sharing, and re-mixing of original work.

Creative Commons is both a non-profit organization and movement within scholarship, education, and the arts to simplify the use and reuse of original work protected by copyright law.  Traditional ("All Rights Reserved") copyright creates restrictive terms for which a work may be used, shared, and adapted. Much of the digital content available online, like photographic images, video clips, audio recordings, and scholarly writing, was created in order to be shared, distributed, and built upon.  Creative Commons licenses provide a simple tool for content creators to optimize the sharing and use of their work.