Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

More on the need for faculty education

Andrea Foster, Librarian: Ohio State Professors Need Copyright Refresher, The Wired Campus, January 14, 2008.

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....


  • True and deplorable.  But for perspective, ask which is worse:  faculty members who don't realize that they regularly sign away their copyrights and are appalled learn it, or faculty members who know what they're doing and are happy to do it.  Or:  faculty members who don't know what they do with their copyrights and don't want to self-archive either, or faculty who at least want to self-archive.
  • Also for perspective:  it's equally true, and for most faculty members even less well-known, that the vast majority of publishers allow authors to self-archive their preprints, their postprints, or both, even after transferring copyright.