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Librarian: Ohio State Professors Need Copyright Refresher

Beware of faculty members who are clueless about whether they hold the copyrights to their research papers, Trisha Davis, a librarian at Ohio State University, told a group of librarians today at the midwinter conference of the American Library Association.

She made the remark while discussing the challenges Ohio State faced in building an institutional repository. The university has over 21,000 articles — including conference papers, teaching materials, photographs, and multimedia works — in the archive.

Faculty members will submit research papers to the repository often unaware that they have signed away the rights to their work to a journal publisher, Ms. Davis said. “They are stunned that they have not retained the copyrights,” she said. “They’re vehemently adamant” that they still have rights to the work.

Also, she added, faculty members sometimes add other scholars’ material to the repository, incorrectly assuming that this is allowed under fair use. — Andrea L. Foster

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