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Scholarly Communications Guide for Faculty, Staff: ©, Creative Commons, Fair Use

Resources to help you with writing and publishing your scholarship


Copyright and Publisher Contracts

What is copyright? What rights do you have under U.S. law? And what can you do to hold on to them or to manage their licensing? Get answers with Keep Your Copyrights from Columbia Law School.

The publishing landscape is changing.


  • 81% of scholarly journals indexed by SHERPA/RoMEO (as of October 2019) allow authors to post some version of their article online, also called self-archiving.


Therefore, most scholarship could be free online if authors


1) knew their rights


2) knew where online to post their articles


3) and did so

When you create a scholarly piece of work, you own the copyright. When you agree to publish it in a journal or as a book, you grant some rights to your publisher, and you may keep others. The contract specifies these. Read more in these publications:

Creative Commons Licensing

Creative Commons (CC) copyright licenses allow flexibility within the traditional “all rights reserved” setting that copyright law creates.

CC licenses give everyone a simple, standardized way to grant copyright permissions to their creative work.

Combine the different license permissions to get just what you need. See our Creative Commons Basics for further details on CC and its licenses.

Using Creative Commons Material

Cover of book Open Content-a practical guide to using Creative Commons LicencesThe book Open Content A Practical Guide to Using Creative Commons Licences intends to provide interested individuals and organisations with practical guidelines for the use and application of open content licences: How do open content licences work? How do you choose the most suitable licence for your individual needs? Where can you find open content online? These are only some of the questions which these guidelines try to answer.


Fair Use

Fair use is a component of copyright law that permits limited use of copyright-protected works without permission from the owner in certain circumstances.

According to, the four guidelines for determining fair use are:

  • the purpose and character of your use
  • the nature of the copyrighted work
  • the amount and substantiality of the portion taken
  • the effect of the use upon the potential market.

Read more about the determination of fair use here.

Learn about OER Copyright & Fair Use

Your Librarian

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Ann Matsuuchi
Library, E201-A4,, 646-450-2661
Subjects: Help from Home

Your Librarian

CC license compatability

When remixing OER material, consult this chart to determine whether differently licensed works can be combined.


Library Media Resources Center
LaGuardia Community College
31-10 Thomson Avenue, room E101
Long Island City, NY 11101
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