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Copyright Support and Issues: Caltech Library Services

The Caltech library staff can and will assist faculty, students and staff in the various areas of copyright issues. This guide is meant to serve as a starting point.

Frequently Asked Copyright Questions

Library Copyright Support

As librarians and  expert copyright educators, we support the Caltech community with training and information in copyright management best practices and we share high quality copyright information resources. Our aim is to help guide faculty, students, and research staff to make wise decisions as both creators and users of copyrighted works.

Under the direction of the Office of the General Counsel, and in compliance with Caltech policies, Caltech Copyright Specialists assist faculty, students and staff in the following areas of copyright issues.

  • Copyright essentials (what the law says about the rights of owners, the rights of users, and basics about what is copyrighted and for how long)
  • Fair Use (what the law says about the important limitation on copyright owner's rights and how to analyze your situation to see if Fair Use applies)
  • Author Rights (Who owns copyright in a work; what the rights of the copyright owner are; and how to assert, protect, or manage those rights to meet your objectives
  • Copyright status of research outputs including published works, grey literature, software, data, and more

In providing copyright education and information, it is understood that the individual user is responsible for their own information handling choices (including infringement).  As representatives of Caltech,Librarians aim to minimize the Institute's exposure while also promoting best practices to maximize the reuse of copyright materials in accordance with the law.  The Office of the General Counsel is the final authority.

We highly recommend that faculty, students and staff contact the Office of the General Counsel if they have specific questions requiring the advice of a qualified attorney.


Online Copyright Tools

Using these educational tools can help educators and others become more comfortable utilizing the limitations and exceptions to the exclusive rights granted to the copyright holder under U.S. Copyright law. By exercising these valuable exceptions, we strengthen copyright’s primary purpose–“to promote the progress of science and useful arts” (U. S. Constitution, Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8).

Journal Analyses for Authors & Reviewers

Caltech Library will provide information to help authors make informed choices when choosing to review, publish or edit journals.


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Kathy Johnson
Sherman Fairchild Library 1-43