Publishing Your Research 101
Episode 9 – The Basics of Copyright and Fair Use
About the Episode
This episode looks at some of the issues around copyright and fair use of information. Most scientists encounter these issues at three points: when they are submitting a manuscript for publication, when they want to use items from their published articles in other publications, presentations, or in teaching, and when they want to use items published by other scientists in their own publications, presentations, or in teaching. Beyond that, as citizens in a digital world, we run into some of the same questions when using any content, scientific or not, on the Web. The first part of this episode looks at what copyright is, what happens when you transfer copyright to a publisher, and what rights you as an author retain when you transfer copyright. The second part discusses fair use, which are exceptions to copyright when certain conditions apply.
It should be noted that while this discussion includes general comments about copyright, there are also some considerations that are specific to the American Chemical Society. When working with other publishers, scientists should be aware of the terms and conditions of each individual publisher. These are usually posted on the web site of the publication.
One important point to remember is that copyright applies even if material does not include a copyright notice. Therefore, in the absence of a specific statement about rights and permissions, you should contact the publisher or web site contact before re-using material.
From ACS Publications
- ACS Copyright Information
- ACS Permissions Information
- Copyright Basics, Karen S. Buehler, C. Arleen Courtney, Eric S. Slater, Chapter 7, 77-86, The ACS Style Guide
On the Web
- US Copyright Office
- Fair Use, as found in Chapter 1 of the US Copyright Law
- An explanation of Fair Use at the Cornell University website
About The Author
Eric S. Slater
Senior Manager of Copyright, Permissions, & Licensing at the American Chemical Society
Eric S. Slater, Esq. is Senior Manager of Copyright, Permissions, & Licensing at the American Chemical Society in Washington, DC. Eric received his JD from New York Law School, and holds a Master of Journalism from Louisiana State University and a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communications from Virginia Commonwealth University. While at New York Law School, Eric was Editor-in-Chief of Media Law & Policy, and published an article on Internet broadcasting. Prior to joining the American Chemical Society in 2000, Eric worked in radio for approximately 20 years. He held a variety of positions including General Manager of a public/NPR station, as well as Program Director, on-air personality and sportscaster at stations in New Jersey, Louisiana, and Virginia. He has taught college courses in mass communications and copyright law, and is currently a faculty member in the Master of Professional Studies in Publishing program at George Washington University. Eric was the 2010 recipient of the Teaching Excellence Award at George Washington University. He is a frequent speaker on copyright topics.
WHY ACS ON CAMPUS IS FOR YOU
Leaders in the field
Heather L. Tierney, Ph.D.
After completing her Ph.D.in Chemistry at Tufts University, Heather L. Tierney joined the Publications Division of the American Chemical Society (ACS) in 2010 as the Managing Editor for ACS Nano and Nano Letters. In 2016, Heather began a a new role at ACS, as Managing Editor, Journals and Ethics Policy. In addition to managing the ACS’s two flagship Reviews journals, Accounts of Chemical Research and Chemical Reviews, Heather helps to provide guidance on best practice in publication ethics and policy in accordance with industry standards as set by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and other external agencies.