Motion US 07/08 - 17 Initiative to protect the rights of faculty authors of
Whereas, trends in scholarly publishing make it increasingly important for faculty to consider copyright issues and
rights of the authors of scholarly publications
Moved, that the University of Oregon University Senate:
- A) Encourages all faculty who publish scholarly works to study the issues of copyright ownership and liability,
for example as laid out by the Association for Research Libraries SPARC initiative
- B) Recommends that if faculty sign a copyright transfer agreement for their work they should include an Author's
Addendum as part of the transfer, retaining rights at least to archive their own work and to continue to use their own
work in their teaching and research; suggested addenda include the Science Commons addenda at
- C) Directs the President of the Senate to establish an ad hoc working committee, that shall
- a. foster educational opportunities for UO faculty related to copyright and copyright liability during spring term
- b. propose additional steps to implement this resolution, implement Senate Resolution US00/01-5, and protect the rights
of university authors. Such proposals should include at a minimum whether a UO-specific Author's Addendum should be
recommended or required.
- c. report to the full Senate no later than 28 May 2008.
Financial impact: There is no direct financial impact to this motion. However, widespread adoption of the
recommendations could protect faculty from expensive litigation, allow faculty to re-use their own works in teaching
without paying royalties, and potentially make faculty publications more widely available, for example in the Scholars'
Bank institutional repository.
Statement of Need: This resolution addresses trends in the use of scholarship driven by new technology: for example, it
is common practice to post a copy of one's publications on a public website or extract portions for use in a class, but
those practices violate the terms of most traditional copyright transfer agreements. More generally, it addresses an
increasingly pressing issue, the commercialization of scholarly publishing, the increasing treatment of knowledge as
property to be controlled rather than widely disseminated, and the increasing willingness of copyright holders ranging
from RIAA to journal publishers to threaten to sue academics for copyright infringement.
In 2001, Senate resolution
US00/01-5 endorsed a University Library Committee
- A. Adopt a university-wide policy that all UO authors try, to the best of their ability, to retain copyright on
their own work, including at the very minimum the right to:
- 1) distribute copies of their work to classes and to individual scientists;
- 2) publish their work on their own web sites; and
- 3) post their work on a local UO archive.
- B. Immediately identify high-cost duplicate titles among the three research libraries in OUS and establish target
amounts for cancellation, in areas in which cancellation would not harm present faculty research, with the ultimate goal of
substantially reducing duplication.
- C. Educate individual faculty and graduate students to:
- 1) retain copyright on scholarly articles,
- 2) discover the pricing practices of journals with whom they collaborate (as reviewer, as editorial board member, as
- 3) disassociate from those with unethical pricing structures,
- 4) lobby professional societies to put pressure on Elsevier and other publishers of inordinately costly publications,
and work collaboratively with efforts such as SPARC in the development of lower-cost alternative publications, and
- 5) encourage professional societies, where applicable, to assume more responsibility for publishing in their field.
D. Begin a campus discussion about adopting the “Tempe Principles,” the Emerging Principles of Scholarly Publishing
recently developed with the support of the AAU and the Association of Research Libraries. The principles provide a
foundation for specific actions, such as those outlined above. By adopting these guiding principles, the UO would become
part of a national effort to define new systems of scholarly publishing.
- E. Ensure that promotion-and-tenure evaluation criteria favor this effort, by holding faculty harmless for declining to
publish in journals with pricing structures detrimental to the free circulation of ideas. The present resolution builds on
and implements that 2001 resolution, taking advantage of recent innovations such as the codification of the Science
Commons author's addendum. It mirrors and supports similar resolutions recently passed at other major research
universities, including the provosts of the Big-10 (Committee on Institutional Cooperation, or CIC) and numerous faculty
Passed at the
February 2008 meeting of the UO Senate.