Loughborough University
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An investigation into stakeholders' approaches to copyright ownership in university-produced scholarly works and the effect on access to UK scholarship

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posted on 2017-07-17, 10:02 authored by Elizabeth A. Gadd
This thesis considers the various perspectives of universities, academic staff and publishers to the copyright ownership of teaching and research outputs produced by UK universities, with a particular focus on how this affects the provision of online and/or open access to those outputs by university libraries. It presents ten papers written over a twenty year time frame that consider these issues within the context of a number of practitioner research projects and demonstrate how practices are changing over time. The papers employ a range of methodologies including questionnaire surveys, comparative design studies, interviews and content analyses. The key findings relating to research outputs (the scholarly royalty-free literature) are that rights are still mainly relinquished to academic staff by UK HEIs, although some HEIs are beginning to assert the right to re-use those works in various ways. Whilst academics are relied upon to either retain copyright or communicate their HEI s copyright policy terms to publishers, in most cases they (reluctantly) assign copyright to publishers. Publishers are increasingly allowing green open access to their scholarly works in some form, but under a growing array of restrictions and conditions principally embargo periods. Publishers terms of re-use for such works (when made explicit) are often restrictive, however most academics would be happy for their works to be re-used non-commercially as long as their moral rights remain protected. This situation creates challenges for both Institutional Repository Managers and copyright clearance staff in Libraries to manage access to, and re-use of, these outputs. The key findings relating to teaching outputs are that copyright mainly lies with HEIs although there are signs that HEIs are moving towards a shared ownership position through licensing. Academics seem to expect some degree of shared ownership, but as with research outputs, are principally concerned that their moral rights are protected. UK HEI copyright policies in this area are fledgling and do not comprehensively address either moral rights issues or other key copyright issues pertaining to OERs. Failure of universities to address these issues is impacting on the motivation of academics to share OERs.



  • The Arts, English and Drama


  • English and Drama


© Elizabeth Gadd

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University. This is a Ph.D. by publication.


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