Scholarly Communication & Copyright Services

Scholarly communication refers to the complex system of creation, dissemination, and use of the products of scholarship, both formal and informal, and the social, legal, and economic issues and pressures at play on the system. Copyright is a legal regime that heavily informs the scholarly communication system, and which students, faculty, and staff all participate as both creators and consumers, in both teaching and in research.

The David Shulenburger Office of Scholarly Communication & Copyright (OSC&C) supports KU faculty, staff, and students to share their scholarly work and educational resources using complementary online tools like KU ScholarWorks, to manage the copyright associated with those works, the legal and ethical use of works of other parties, and to navigate the shifting system of scholarly communication in which they are major stakeholders.

  • Open Education - The Shulenburger Office of Scholarly Communication & Copyright (OSC&C) houses our Open Educational Resources (OER) initiatives. More information below and linked.
  • Copyright - The OSC&C offers copyright consultations and resources. More information below and linked.
  • Open Access - The OSC&C offers support for and leads initiatives that support open access. More information below and linked.
  • Sharing of KU Scholarly Output - The OSC&C partners with individuals and units across campus to support sharing scholarly work. More information below and linked.

We are happy to assist with these issues.

Open Education

KU Libraries advocates for and supports the use of open educational resources (OER) and related practices to reduce course material costs to students and support academic freedom for instructors through consultations, presentations, a grant program, awards, support for publishing OER, and memberships in collaborative efforts such as the Open Education Network and OpenStax Institutional Partner Program. For more information, see OER at KU.


The OSC&C maintains a Copyright Guide with resources and information to support faculty, staff, and students in their various roles as consumers, creators, and stewards of intellectual property in the classroom and in research. For group or individual consultations or presentations, contact the Shulenburger Office of Scholarly Communication & Copyright.

  • Authors are the automatic owners of copyright in the works they create unless or until they agree to contractual terms that transfer copyright in their creations, such as through work for hire or via publication agreements. Publication agreements frequently transfer copyright to the publisher, consequently making the publisher the owner of the copyright in the work. The Copyright Considerations for Authors tab includes information and resources that address common intersections between copyright and authorship. The Using Copyrighted Works in Scholarship tab also includes relevant information and resources.
  • Instructors' uses of copyright-protected content aren't automatically fair or exempted. The use of copyrighted content in teaching bears thoughtful consideration. The Copyright and Teaching tab includes information and resources that address common intersections between copyright and teaching. The Public Performance Rights for Screening Media tab addresses screening film media in and outside of classroom environments.
  • Graduate student authors of theses or dissertations are affected by copyright in two ways: as a user of copyrighted material within the thesis or dissertation and as the owner of the thesis or dissertation itself. The Copyright for Dissertations and Theses tab includes information and resources for graduate authors navigating these issues. The Copyright Considerations for Authors and Using Copyrighted Works in Scholarship tabs are also useful to graduate students.

Open Access @ KU

The Shulenburger Office of Scholarly Communication & Copyright supports faculty and student efforts to make their research more widely available. In addition to consulting with faculty, academic departments, research centers, and students, we support broader university efforts and collaborate with other units in the libraries (Content Development, Digital Initiatives, Acquisitions and Resource Sharing, and others) to advance open access at KU.

  • Faculty Senate Open Access Policy: OSC&C staff support KU faculty participation in the KU Faculty Senate Open Access Policy passed in 2009/10. Open Access at KU provides information on open access generally, the OA policy, mediated deposit of scholarship into KU ScholarWorks, and related services, including consultations and presentations. For specific information on participation in the policy, see Getting Started.
  • Sustainable Scholarship: The OSC&C collaborates closely with Acquisitions & Resource Sharing and Collections Strategy & Development to support efforts that provide wider and more equitable access to scholarship. Sustainable Scholarship highlights projects KU Libraries supports, including Open Access Agreements and APC Discounts, and Open Access Investments and Commitments.
  • Shulenburger Award for Innovation and Advocacy in Scholarly Communication: Former University of Kansas Provost David Shulenburger endowed the Libraries' with funds to support efforts that advanced open access initiatives, including the establishment of an award in his name that honors a faculty member, student, staff person or meritorious department for efforts that champion and innovate in the area of open access, open education, and scholarly communication reform. See the Shulenburger Award page for information about eligibility, timing, and nominations.
  • News and Events: If you consider yourself an advocate for open access and would like to be informed about relevant news and events, contact to let us know you'd like to be added to the KU OA Friends list.

Sharing of KU Scholarly Output

OSC&C staff work with faculty and students to promote the public sharing of the fruits of their scholarly work. Contact, Josh Bolick, , or Heather Mac Bean,, for more information. Working closely with Marianne Reed,, in the Digital Initiatives unit in the Libraries, we can:

  • Deposit articles, papers, presentations, and other scholarly works into KU ScholarWorks on behalf of KU faculty and graduate students. For more information about KU ScholarWorks see About this Repository.
  • Provide expert advice on copyright as it pertains to open sharing of scholarly outputs per information provided above
  • Advocate for greater openness in the academy, including open access, author's rights, local support for journal hosting, and related issues
  • Support the implementation of open educational resources and practices per information provided above

Scholarly Communication Contacts

Josh Bolick
Head of Scholarly Communications & Copyright
Watson Library, Room 400A

Heather Mac Bean
Open Education Librarian
Watson Library, Room 450

Helpful Links