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As an author, copyright concerns you in a few ways:
In some situations, especially when publishing an article open access in a subscription journal or an open access journal, publishers will ask you whether you wish to apply a Creative Commons license to your work.
Article XVII, Section 4 of the UAOSU collective bargaining agreement covers faculty ownership of course materials at OSU. In brief, faculty retain copyright to course materials, even those developed under standard Ecampus course development agreements. However, if course material is created with "excess of the typical support generally available to similarly situated faculty members", then OSU owns the material.
Under certain circumstances, the agreement also grants OSU license to use course materials while faculty retain copyright.
In 2013, Oregon State University Faculty Senate unanimously passed an Open Access Policy. One direct result of this policy is that OSU faculty retain copyright to articles published after the policy was passed. Specifically, OSU faculty can distribute the accepted manuscript version (post peer review, pre publisher formatting) of their articles from their own websites, deposit them in repositories (such as ScholarsArchive@OSU and PubMed Central), use them in their classes, and develop derivative works.
According to U.S. Copyright law, a work of the U.S. government is defined as "a work prepared by an officer or employee of the United States Government as part of that person's official duties" (See 17 USC § 101. Definitions.). Under Section 105 of the Copyright Act, these authors are unable to retain any copyright protections, meaning that these publications reside in the public domain.
If an OSU faculty member co-authors a research article with a federal government employee, the author(s) should inform publishers of the employment status of the federal government employee co-author and should not sign any document transferring U.S. copyright as a prerequisite to publication. While many publishers have forms that allow submitters to indicate their employment status, some don't and it should be addressed with the publisher prior to signing any agreements.
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