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Copyright law session helps faculty authors

By Leslie King | Emory Report | Sept. 3, 2014

Faculty authors can learn what they need to know about the legal aspects of publishing in a workshop organized by the Center for Faculty Development and Excellence (CFDE) on Tuesday, Sept. 9, at 3:30 p.m. in the Jones Room of the Woodruff Library.

"Copyright for Authors" will feature a lecture, followed by a question-and-answer session with an expert in copyright law in research and scholarly publishing.

The workshop is open to all faculty, and would be of interest to graduate students as well, says Lisa A. Macklin, director of the Scholarly Communications Office in Woodruff Library, who will lead the workshop. "Those publishing books may be the most interested, but all faculty could benefit."

Macklin will present an overview of what every author should know about copyright law, from permissions to the "bundle" of rights afforded to authors over their own work to copyright transfer agreements from publishers.

"Copyright law has not had significant changes lately; however, the approach publishers are taking with authors in copyright transfer agreements is changing," Macklin notes. "These changes are due in large part to the open access movementand the requirement of funders for authors to make their work publicly accessible."

Macklin led a copyright session for faculty about three years ago, she says, "but it was focused on copyright in the classroom. This session focuses on copyright for authors.

"Every faculty member and student is a copyright owner, but the rights included in copyright and how best to exercise those rights can seem mysterious," says Macklin. "A better understanding of how copyright law operates can help faculty successfully navigate the publishing process, including author agreements and permissions."

Faculty, graduate students and others looking to publish are encouraged to come with questions or send questions in advance to Macklin.

"My goal is that faculty members understand their rights as copyright owners and feel empowered to exercise those rights," Macklin adds.

The workshop is part of the CFDE's Scholarly Writing and Publishing Project.

For more information, go to the CFDE.