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Copyright Information

This collection of resource links is intended to provide faculty, staff, and students of the University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus a framework for understanding US copyright law and fair use doctrine. (Does not constitute legal advice.)

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What is a Copyright Owner?

Copyright under the law immediately protects all, "original work of authorship" that is "fixed in a tangible medium of expression."
"Original" means a minimal amount of creativity was used in its creation (phone book is not covered, but your office notes are). 
"Fixed in a tangible medium of expression" means that it is stable enough to be perceived or reproduced. 
Works that fall under Copyright Law are protected at the moment of creation.  However, the burden of proof falls on the creator so registering your work under copyright is important. 
For information relating to your rights, how to register your copyright, and how to transfer your copyrights to another person, visit:

Copyrighting my Work



Open Access Initiative

Open access journals are an alternative to traditional publishing and remove all impediments to information for all levels of researchers.  Common features of open access initiatives include no expectation of payment for contributing scholars, free and full availability via the Internet for users to journals, and copyright constraint only in the retaining of integrity, acknowledgement, and citation to the work's author.  The Directory of Open Access Journals is a well known aggregator of free journals.  It will only accept works that are peer-reviewed, have editorial quality, have a scholarly nature, and are serial in format.  

For more information on open access journals, please visit:


NIH Public Access Mandate

This mandate requires that articles arising from NIH funds accepted for publication after April 7, 2008 must be submitted to PubMed Central (PMC) upon acceptance. They must be made publicly available no more than 12 months after appearing in a peer-reviewed journal.

Check out our Resource Guide on the complying with the NIH Public Access Policy.