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Authors' Rights

Digital Scholarship and Scholarly Communications

What is it?

Digital Scholarship and Scholarly Communications are interdisciplinary fields in librarianship that facilitate the production and dissemination of academic research through the use of emerging digital tools and applications, while enhancing the communication of and access to the results of this research.


As an author, you have certain rights to your work. For example, do you know that you already own a copyright to any literary, musical, dramatic, choreographic, pictorial, audio, audiovisual or architectural work you have created even if you have not registered that copyright? How can you preserve your copyright when publishing or otherwise distributing your creation? How can you share the fruits of your scholarship with others without limiting their rights? To what extent can you reuse other people's creations fairly in your own scholarship?

Now more than ever it is crucial that you understand your rights as an artist, author, or creator of any sort. Learn how to use a SPARC addendum to preserve the right to post your scholarly articles on your own website and to deposit them in the Institutional Repository, Vanderbilt University's scholarly repository. Discover how to find images distributed under Creative Commons licenses to reuse in your work. Understand the scope and limits of fair use as you draw on the works of others.

We are also available to help you interpret and understand the Copyright Policy. While we are not qualified to provide legal advice (you'll need to approach the Office of the General Counsel for specific legal guidance), we are ready and able to assist you with understanding the fundamentals of copyright law and to point you to resources designed to protect your rights as a scholarly creator.