Copyright for researchers and lecturers

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1. Use of didactic/other copyrighted material
2. Publication of your research
3. Publication of didactic work / other copyright-protected material as an illustration for teaching or scientific research
4. Reproduction of didactic work/other copyrighted material to illustrate teaching or for scientific research
5. Inclusion of copyright-protected material in a reader made available to students
 

1. Use of didactic work/other copyrighted material

You are the author of the didactic work/other copyrighted material

As the original author of a work, you automatically acquire full copyright on it. Therefore, you do not have to complete any additional formalities nor do you have to publish the author's work. Consequently, you can do what you want with your work, provided that you have not yet transferred your copyright (to a publisher, for example). There are several copyright options for publication.

Attention: If you want to publish your work and you are not the only author, you have to comply with the rules of co-authorship.

You use the copyrighted material of others

When using source material, you must take the following into account:

- Source citation is mandatory at all times. Always mention the name of the author whose works you are citing and the source (book, journal, etc.) from which you obtained the material. The year of publication and other practical details are also useful. Consult module 6 of the information skills course for more information about how to correctly cite your information sources.

- Please observe all copyright restrictions! There is a significant probability that the sources you are using are protected by copyright. There are several types of works protected by copyright.

- Only use short quotes. Otherwise, you are violating the right to quote.

- Please comply with image rights. Every person holds image rights. This means that the creation and distribution of visual images of every individualized and recognizable person is subject to the consent of the person involved! This is regardless of the medium involved: a photograph, drawing, painting, video images, etc. Additionally, granting permission to create an image does not automatically mean permission to distribute this image. Please keep this in mind if you are required to or intend to publish your research. To avoid future problems, use this template (docx)  that will serve to establish a written record of consent.

- Beware of plagiarismPlagiarism is copying or translating someone else’s work in an identical manner or in a slightly altered form, without citing the source. This also extends to engaging someone else to compile texts for you.
 

2. Publication of your research

If you want to publish your research as a book or article, there are several options regarding your copyright:

1. You retain your copyright in full

You have the following two options:

- You publish your research on your own account
- You publish your work in an open access journal (golden route). Instead of transferring your copyright to the publisher, as is the case with a traditional journal, a free licence - usually a Creative Commons licence - is linked to your article. Such a licence gives a lot of freedom to the user, but it does impose certain conditions on what others can do with your publication.

Because you retain full copyright, you can do what you want with your work.

2. Retaining part of your copyright

If you have your research published by a traditional publisher, you will usually have to transfer your copyright (in full) via the publisher's publishing or copyright transfer agreement, as a result of which you will lose (part of) your rights to your work.

Many publishers will however permit you to make a post-print of your work accessible to the general public via the digital archives (repository) of the institution where you work, e.g. via the Document Server from Hasselt University– whether or not after an embargo period. Check the contract with your publisher, or Sherpa Romeo if it is a standard contract. Some publishers, however, will not permit you to do this. We therefore recommend you to transfer your copyright under certain conditions. There are two ways to do this: you can attach an addendum to your publisher’s publishing or copyright transfer agreement or opt for a modified license.

Option 1: attach an addendum to the publisher’s publishing or copyright transfer agreement

Send an addendum to your publisher, together with the publishing or copyright transfer agreement, and an accompanying letter. An addendum is a legal document that permits you to retain specific rights to your articles, such as the right to upload the published version and/or post-print of your article to the digital archives (repository) of the institution where you work, e.g. via the Document Server from Hasselt University.

Examples:

Option 2: opt for a modified license

If you opt for a modified license, you will not transfer your copyright, but you will give another permission to exploit your work under certain conditions. With a license, you can also ensure that you retain the right, for example, to place the published version and/or post-print of your article in the digital repository of the institution where you work, for example in the Document Server from Hasselt University. You can choose between an exclusive licence, i.e. a licence that you grant exclusively to one publisher, or a non-exclusive licence, in which case you can also grant the usage rights laid down in it to others.

Example:

  • Creative Commons (CC) license: This license enables you to retain full copyright, and permits others to reproduce, distribute and communicate your publication, subject to the condition that your name is mentioned along with any other conditions which you impose. You can determine yourself the scope of the license (e.g. not permitting commercial use, not permitting derivative works to be made of your publication, etc.). The Creative Commons website contains several licenses to choose from.

Tip:

To ensure that you can make the author's version of your article immediately available in open access (i.e. without any embargo), follow the following steps:

1. Add the following text to the cover page or in the acknowledgements of your author's version before submitting it to the journal of your choice: "A CC BY or equivalent licence is applied to the Author Accepted Manuscript arising from this submission".
2. As soon as your article is accepted for publication, you deposit your author's version in a public repository such as the UHasselt Document Server.

3. You fully transfer your copyright

Sometimes you really have no choice but to transfer your copyright - in part or not - to a publisher. In the case of full transfer, you lose the rights to your work and can, in principle, only use it in accordance with the general rules (as they apply to every user of a copyrighted work). In most cases, however, the contract with your publisher still grants you certain rights. For example, many publishers allow you to make the author's version of your work publicly available via the digital archive (repository) of the institution where you work, for example via UHasselt's Document Server - whether or not after an embargo. In the case of a standard contract, you can easily see whether this is the case for your publication via Sherpa Romeo.
 

3. Publication of didactic work / other copyright-protected material as an illustration for teaching or scientific research

For educational or academic research purposes, a lecturer/researcher may place his/her work and that of others (either in full or in part, and either on paper or digital) as well as links to websites on Blackboard, or make it available via another secure environment whose access is controlled by an officially recognized educational institution, both for students and for participants of a training course at UHasselt. However, this is subject to a number of cumulative conditions:

  • no profit is pursued; and
  • the normal exploitation of the protected works is not affected. The communication must therefore not have a negative effect on the sale of the works; and
  • it takes place in the context of the normal activities of the institution; and
  • the source and the author's name must be mentioned unless this proves impossible.

Attention: Do not use the open internet to distribute copyright-protected material, unless it is a quotation! Otherwise, you are committing a copyright infringement. However, links, including embedded and framed links, are permitted.
 

4. Reproduction of didactic work/other copyrighted material to illustrate teaching or for scientific research

For educational or academic research purposes, a teacher/researcher may reproduce (wholly or in part) his/her work and that of others (including training courses) or for the purpose of scientific research. This means, for example, copying, scanning, downloading, printing, putting on a USB stick, etc. You may also physically hand out copies, as long as this is done in the context of education or for scientific research. However, this is subject to a number of cumulative conditions:

  • no profit is pursued; and
  • the normal exploitation of the protected works is not affected. The reproduction must therefore not have a negative effect on the sale of the works; and
  • it takes place in the context of the normal activities of the institution; and
  • The source and the author's name must be mentioned unless this proves impossible.

Reproduction may take place in any way, i.e. from paper to paper, from digital to paper, and from digital to digital. For the reproduction of sheet music, you do need to ask permission.

Examples:

  • A student photocopies the press articles relating to his thesis research from the library.
  • A doctoral student scans an illustration that she finds in an academic book.

For your information: In order to compensate the authors of protected works, the university pays a remuneration via so-called copyright management companies.

 

5. Inclusion of copyright-protected material in a reader made available to students

In this context, we define a reader as a collection of (excerpts from) integral works by one or more authors, as a supplement to your course.

If you, as a lecturer, want to put together a reader and make it available to your students, you do not need permission from the authors in question if you respect the rules regarding the reproduction of didactic work / other copyrighted material. In concrete terms, this means that you observe the following conditions cumulatively:

  • No profit is pursued (you may charge a fee for the costs you incur in printing the reader);
  • The normal exploitation of the protected works is not affected, so distributing the reader may not have a negative impact on the sale of the publications it contains;
  • You may only use works (or excerpts from works) that you include in your reader to illustrate education, i.e. as part of or an explanation for your course. This also means that the reader may only be made available to students who are registered for the course for which the reader is intended;
  • The source and the name of the author must be mentioned unless this proves impossible.

If you can tick all the above boxes, the size of your reader is basically not important. If this is not the case, you should still ask the authors for their permission.

Tips for distributing your reader:

  • If you distribute your reader on paper to your students, it is best to do this in the classroom or via the course service of your institution, not via a bookstore, because then the cost of printing may exceed the mere cost price and the reader can also be purchased by a wider audience. This violates the above-mentioned conditions and permission must therefore be requested from all authors.

If you make your reader available digitally, do so via Blackboard - or via another secure environment whose access is controlled by an officially recognized educational institution - and only for the registered students, so not via the open internet, unless you request permission from all authors.

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