A Simpler Approach to Copyright Compliance
Let’s face it: Ensuring copyright compliance is hard. It’s also a requisite component of any scientific research study or knowledge management program.
Unfortunately, there's no single, clear-cut rule researchers and information managers can rely on to determine whether they have the right to use (or reuse) a particular piece of copyrighted content. When it comes to ensuring legal access, there's a lot of variation and fine print to contend with.
Indeed, just because someone can access a journal article (e.g. from their organization's repository, or one they previously purchased for a different purpose), it doesn't necessarily mean they can do so legally. And unless you're a copyright lawyer, attempting to decipher all the fine print of a licensing agreement is not only time-consuming; it’s risky. The penalties for copyright infringement, for example, can result in steep fines (i.e. damages payments) or even jail time.
To remain compliant, the most important factor to consider is how you plan to use the copyrighted material. But once you’ve legally purchased an article, if your intended use changes, so too will your usage rights. What's more, licensing rights can vary based on the details of your direct publisher agreement. And the expansion of open access (OA) publishing, along various OA models and licensing restrictions, adds yet another layer of complexity to the equation.
Thankfully, new technologies are emerging that make it easy to stay compliant. At Research Solutions, for example, we recently released a tool that lets users immediately determine their reuse rights for a particular article. Available as an add-on to Article Galaxy Enterprise, Re-use Insights works with customers' Annual Copyright Licenses (ACLs), incorporates direct publisher agreements, and integrates with open access publications to provide the immediate, detailed information they need to understand if they can use the article as intended.
Article Galaxy Enterprise is designed to give organizations a single solution for discovering, acquiring, and managing scientific literature. As technology continues to evolve, we are continuously developing new tools to further simplify and accelerate research workflows. Contact us to learn more about Re-use Insights and other newly released platform features.