Scholarly Communications

Topics on this page:

Public Access and Open Access

Scholarly communications is an umbrella term that describes the process used by academics, scholars, and researchers to share, publish, and circulate research findings to the wider academic community and beyond. To list major issues that fall under this term: author's rights; economic models for scholarly publishing; open access content; institutional repositories; rights and access to federally funded research; as well as copyright and the preservation of intellectual rights.

Public Access

Public access describes the policy of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to ensure public access to the published results of NIH-funded research. Greater accessibility of scientific and clinical journal articles was driven in part by a desire to see government-supported research made more easily and readily available to its funding source: American taxpayers.

Open Access

Open access is a term used by different groups to describe journals or articles that are freely available online. The rights to download, copy, distribute, and use these freely available works vary from publication to publication.

Sources of Open Access Content

From the National Library of Medicine:
Other Sources:



Licensing e-Resources

This page compiles resources and guides for improving the licensing of electronic resources. This page is intended to help librarians and information professionals improve their capacity for licensing resources and to help them better understand this challenging but important part of librarianship.



Copyright & copy

Resources from the Medical Library Association:

The Medical Library Association makes available information on copyright issues for medical librarians:

Resources from the U.S. Copyright Office:

The United States Copyright Office offers several publications for those interested in learning more about copyright.

Of particular interest to librarians:

Resources from the Copyright Clearance Center:

The Copyright Clearance Center’s pay-per-use permissions service provides instant authorization to use and share content from the world's leading titles in science, technology, medicine, humanities, news, business, finance, and more.

You may use this service to get permission to:

  • Photocopy material from books, newspapers, journals and other publications for use in coursepacks and classroom handouts.
  • Use and share information in library reserves, interlibrary loan and document delivery services.
  • Post and share content electronically in e-reserves, course management systems, e-coursepacks and other e-learning environments.
  • Distribute content via e-mail or post it to your intranet, Internet and extranet sites.
  • Republish an article, book excerpt or other content in your own books, journals, newsletters and other materials.