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Scholarly Communication & Institutional Repository: Authors Right

Scholarly communication(SC) is the process by which academics, scholars, and researchers share and publish their research findings so that they are available to the wider academic community and beyond.

Copyright Agreement


All authors, whether they are a faculty member publishing a monograph, a grant-funded researcher publishing a scholarly article, or a graduate student writing a dissertation, need to be familiar with the basic concepts of copyright and have an awareness of the options for publishing, posting, archiving and distributing their scholarship. Many scholars, including teaching faculty, are not well-versed in these issues and therefore not equipped to educate students who they may be similarly advising. 
When publishing, authors are presented with a contract or copyright transfer agreement (CTA) drafted by the publisher. Many of these publishers drafted agreements to transfer copyright fully to the publisher thereby restricting an author's subsequent usage of his or her published work, including reuse of the work in teaching and further research.  After transferring copyright to the publisher, the author generally has little say in how the work is later used. The result, all too often, is that contracts restrict the dissemination of one’s scholarship, and the author's impact is lessened

Fair Use Rights


Fair use is a statutory exception to the copyright holder's bundle of exclusive rights. It allows for the unlicensed (that is, without permission or payment of royalty) use of a copyrighted work where the balance of several factors weighs in favor of such use. Four of these factors are specifically enumerated in the statute. Application of fair use requires a factual analysis of these four factors as applied to the facts of the proposed use. Although no single factor is determinative, recent court decisions reveal that transformative use is an important consideration as is the potential harm to the market for the copyrighted work.

The four statutory factors of fair use are:

  1. The purpose and character of the proposed use
  2. The nature of the work being used
  3. The amount of the work being used
  4. The effect of the use upon the market for the copyrighted work

Several factual inquiries drive analysis of each of the four factors. The resources in this Toolkit can help libraries understand and conduct these inquiries. Several libraries have also created excellent guides to understanding and applying the four factors:

Knowledge on Fair Use


 Reclaiming fair use : how to put balance back in copyright /Patricia Aufderheide and Peter Jaszi  Aufderheide, Patricia Lang Matl | The University of Chicago Press | 2011   Available at Stacks 2nd Floor (KF3020 .A984 2011)


Public Domain :

      This link is updated from cornell university library

Copy right Resources


Beall’s List of Predatory Open-Access Publishers
This is a list of potential, possible, or probable predatory scholarly open-access publishers compiled by Jeffrey Beall:

 To view the last version visit the Internet Archive at

 Copyright Crash Course
Copyright Crash Course was developed by Georgia Harper and this a guide that provides an overview of important copyright issues. Copyright Crash Course:

Digitization 101: CopyrightX Lectures

The open course on copyright from Harvard, which was prepared and delivered by Prof. William Fisher was made available to the public, along with other resources.

Plagiarism Detection Services
Turnitin is partnering with ProQuest to include more than 300,000 dissertations and theses into the Turnitin comparison database. This addition enhances Turnitin’s repository of 20 billion current and archived web pages, 200 million student papers and more than 110 million articles from scholarly publications.

Turnitin customers can compare documents against the ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Database as part of a new premium content offering called “Turnitin Research.” The offering consists of Turnitin bundled with iThenticate, the leading plagiarism checker for scholarly publishers, as well as the ProQuest content. More information about iThenticate:

ProQuest/UMI Copyright Guide
The ProQuest/UMI Copyright Guide provides information on how to avoid copyright infringement and the guide includes sample permission letters that can be sent to the copyright holder. ProQuest Copyright Guide:

Sharing work with colleague or students?


Accordingly, authors should take care to assign the rights to their work in a manner that permits them and their students and colleagues to use their work in teaching, research and other purposes. Transferring copyright doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Publishers only need the right of first publication, not a wholesale transfer of copyright. So, a compromise is often desirable, which authors can accomplish through an appropriate addendum.

One option is to consider a Creative Commons license which gives you a variety of options for determining how you will share your creative and scholarly works.

Other considerations involve depositing your work on platforms or repositories in which you can self-archive your Scholarly and Creative Works. 

[Portions of this page adapted from the  ACRL Scholarly Communication Toolkit ( and are being made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike (CC-BY-NC-SA) license]

Fair Use Guides

John B. Coleman Library
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 519, MS 1040, Prairie View, Texas 77446
Physical Address: L.W. Minor St. / University Drive, Prairie View, Texas 77446
Reference: (936) 261-1535, Circulation: (936) 261-1542

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