Managing YOUR Rights: Authors and Copyright-Scholarly Communications - Carnegie Mellon University

Monday, March 19, 2007

Managing YOUR Rights: Authors and Copyright

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Julia Blixrud, Assistant Director for Public Programs
Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC)


Do authors know enough about their rights? Under copyright law, the author is the copyright holder unless or until copyright is transferred to someone else through a signed agreement. That transfer process doesn't have to be an all or nothing approach. As the copyright holder, authors can choose what rights to keep while still providing the necessary ability for a publisher or distributor to see that their work is given the visibility desired. New technologies have raised awareness of the importance of copyright and the options authors have for rights retention. Does an author want to make her work publicly available on a personal or institutional website?  Does he expect to reuse his work for another publication? Do authors know how to negotiate the necessary rights to ensure that the educational mission is met or research results are made known?  Hear how the copyright landscape is changing with the introduction of authors' addenda attached to publisher agreements and the initiation of large-scale efforts like Creative Commons and Science Commons that encourage authors to be the best advocates possible for managing their copyright.


Julia Blixrud is the Assistant Director for Public Programs for SPARC, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition. Serving in that capacity since August 1999, she is implementing a grassroots educational and advocacy program directed to scientists and scholars, librarians, and society publishers.

In addition, Blixrud is Assistant Executive Director, External Relations for ARL, the Association of Research Libraries. She has served the Association in several capacities since December 1996 and is currently providing staff support for ARL's new Strategic Direction III: Research, Teaching, and Learning. Julia represents the Association at national and international meetings and events, participates in ARL's assessment and new measures activities, provides advice for ARL publications and communications, and conducts special projects. She is also staff to the Association's Membership Committee, the Visiting Program Officer program, and the Leadership Development Task Force. She has served as a faculty member for ARL's former Office of Leadership and Management Services, conducting workshops on facilitation, the culture of assessment, and leadership and management as well as providing consulting services for institutional planning and assessment.

Blixrud's 30-year career in the library community has included positions at CAPCON and MINITEX library networks, the Council on Library Resources, and the Library of Congress. Her interests and professional activities have included cooperative programs, serials, technical standards, library assessment, intellectual property, and scholarly communication. She has a BA in Library Science and Scandinavian Studies from Augsburg College in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and an MA in Library Science from the University of Minnesota.