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Are universities finally waking up to the value of copyright?

Posted by Elizabeth Gadd  on March 6th, 2017

Whereas a large majority of universities have been proactive about claiming ownership of intellectual property such as patents or teaching materials, only a small percentage have been similarly assertive about copyright. However, amidst continued debate over the affordability of and access to scholarly communication, what practical attempts have been made to retain copyright within the academy rather than assign it to publishers? Elizabeth Gadd has examined copyright policies at 81 UK universities and found that, while a majority still relinquish copyright in scholarly works, an encouraging 20% of university policies sought to share rights with academic staff through licensing. Moreover, the development of a UK equivalent to ‘Harvard-style’ open access policies should help further coordinate efforts to retain copyright within the academy. Read more..


A Middle-of-the-Road Proposal amid the Sci-Hub Controversy: Share “Unofficial” Copies of Articles without Embargo, Legally

This article summarizes the two sides of the Sci-Hub debate, and raises awareness of the rights of journal article authors to post a certain version online that one is legally allowed to share, with no embargo.  Read more …

ARL sends letter to Elsevier

Association of Research Libraries recently send off a letter to Elsevier, stating their concerns regarding their article sharing policy.

“This restrictive license impedes collaboration among researchers and scholars.”

“The updated Elsevier article sharing policy imposes excessive restrictions on authors and institutions, employs embargo periods that are
counter to the requirements established by the federal government, and, more fundamentally, impedes the sharing of information by scholars that is so fundamental to the research process.”   ARL PDF

How to negotiate with publishers: an example of immediate self-archiving despite publisher’s embargo policy

Here is a personal case study from Dr Pandelis Perakakis on how he managed to negotiate  and change a 12 month embargo on his published paper into a 6 month embargo with his post-reviewed author’s copy, with the publishers Springer.

“In this post I share a recent experience as an example of how to negotiate with a publisher your right to make your research freely available without having to pay any money. Hope it proves useful to more researchers in a similar position. I also offer my personal opinion on how researchers can change the current inefficient and unethical system of scholarly communication by gradually developing an alternative model that will foster collaboration instead of competition.”  Read more…


Updated on 01 Oct 2015.

In a personal communication from Dr Perakakis his negotiation ended in a no-embargo agreement and not a 6 month embargo agreement.


Sharing Research Data and Intellectual Property Law: A Primer

Sharing research data by depositing it in connection with a published article or otherwise making data publicly available sometimes raises intellectual property questions in the minds of depositing researchers, their employers, their funders, and other researchers who seek to reuse research data. In this context or in the drafting of data management plans, common questions are (1) what are the legal rights in data; (2) who has these rights; and (3) how does one with these rights use them to share data in a way that permits or encourages productive downstream uses? Leaving to the side privacy and national security laws that regulate sharing certain types of data, this Perspective explains how to work through the general intellectual property and contractual issues for all research data.

For the researcher seeking to use another’s data, this Perspective offers some good news and some not as good news. The good news is that if a source of data—the researcher or repository—gives permission to reuse the data and one’s intended use fits within the scope of the permission, one need not be overly concerned with the details of the discussion that follows because the permission provides the legal basis for data reuse. Read more…

Pay-to-Play Publishing

OPINION PIECE: The Internet has enabled the dissemination of information at lightning speed. This information revolution has created tremendous business opportunities for online publishers, but not all of them maintain proper quality-control mechanisms to ensure that only good information is being shared. Instead, many publishers aim simply to make money by whatever means possible, with no regard for the ramifications for society at large.

When greedy publishers set up shop online, the primary goal is to publish as much as possible, often at the cost of quality. In this vein, many publishers start numerous online journals focused on overlapping disciplines—to increase their total number of published papers—and hire young business managers who do not have any experience in either science or publishing. In some cases, online publishers even forgo peer review, while still presenting themselves as scientific journals—a scam designed to take advantage of scientists who simply want to share their research. In the most egregious cases, counterfeit publications use the same name as legit journals that are not published online (for example, Archives des Sciences and Wulfenia). Read more…

Text & Data Mining

According to Maurizio Borghi, on the site, Copyright User.com gives the following explanation for what is text & data mining.

“The electronic analysis of large amounts of copyright works allows researchers to discover patterns, trends and other useful information that cannot be detected through usual ‘human’ reading. This process, known as ‘text and data mining’, may lead to knowledge which can be found in the works being mined but not yet explicitly formulated. For example, the processing of data contained in a large collection of scientific papers in a particular medical field could suggest a possible association between a gene and a disease, or between a drug and an adverse event, without this connection being explicitly identified or mentioned in any of the papers.” Read more…

The Carnegie Mellon University Libraries on TDM – Read more…

Elsevier on what is TDM –  Read more…

CrossRef has pre-recorded webinars on TDM – Read more…

LIBER Europe on TDM – Read more…

Hague Declaration on TDM – Read more…

Wiley Online Library on TDM – Read more…

The Dangers of Open Access – Predatory Publishing and Open Access – a Researcher’s View by Edward Randviir

In this post, Edward Randviir from the Faculty of Science and Engineering cautions colleagues against a rise in predatory publishing practices as a result of the Open Access agenda.

Open Access (OA) is defined as the unrestricted online access to research, and encompasses journal articles, conference proceedings, chapters, monographs, posters, and now datasets. The immediately obvious benefits include enhanced visibility of research and improved chances of author citations, potentially leading to higher societal impact. HEFCE’s Open Access in the post-REF2014 policy states that universities should make any articles and conference proceedings with an ISSN available through an OA route within 3 months of acceptance to be eligible for submission to the next Research Excellence Framework. The University has established Symplectic, as the research information management system that will enable compliance with the OA agenda for staff.

A danger with OA is the plague of predatory OA publishers that have emerged in the past five years. A predatory publisher is one that offers OA publishing, for huge nominal fees that are often undisclosed when they invite academics to write for them, often without providing proper editorial and publishing services. This means that final versions appearing online are incorrect, not proofed properly, and in the majority of cases not even peer reviewed – and whether we like it or not, the peer review process improves the quality of published work and filters out the papers that may not be up to scratch. This also extends to conference proceedings. Read more…

How many Open Access policies are there worldwide?

Do you need to know who has Open Access policies across the World?  Then you can make use of the following two links to find out more.

PASTEUR30A – Live data


This is a more comprehensive site.

The Registry of Open Access Repository Mandates and Policies (ROARMAP) is a searchable international registry charting the growth of open access mandates and policies adopted by universities, research institutions and research funders that require or request their researchers to provide open access to their peer-reviewed research article output by depositing it in an open access repository.

Open Access: Which Direction? (II)

This spring, the Research Councils UK, on behalf of the Global Research Council (GRC) and working together with the British Library, hosted a London workshop that brought together publishers, funders, libraries and other stakeholders from across the world to discuss perspectives on Open Access (OA) communication in a global research environment.

A report, specially commissioned by RCUK, on attitudes to the future of commercial publishing in the light of open access, helped participants examine the current status of policy and practice and identify the next steps necessary to unlock the future. For the report, analyst Mark Ware interviewed 20 publishers of different types and scale: for-profit and not-for-profit; open access and subscription-based; commercial, society, university presses; and with representation from all scholarly fields. He detailed his findings in a recent webinar interview with CCC’s Chris Kenneally. Read more…

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