Public Release: 

'Who Owns University Research' Is Seminar Topic

Virginia Tech

(Blacksburg, Va., Feb. 3, 1998) "Copyright: Who Owns Universities' Research and Scholarship?" is the topic of a Feb. 9 seminar by Mel Schiavelli, provost at the University of Delaware. The seminar will be at 4 p.m. on the Virginia Tech campus as part of the "Scholarship in the Electronic World" series.

In his abstract for the seminar, Schiavelli writes, "The exclusive right of the copyright holder has important limitations, the most important of which are time restraints on the length of copyright and the concept of Fair Use. Fair Use is absolutely fundamental to the mission of higher education, to research, to teaching, and to the production of new knowledge. The underlying concept of university research, especially research undertaken at the doctoral level, is that it be available to other researchers. Electronic information is subject to U.S. copyright law ... and has raised questions especially about what is Fair Use ...

"... Researchers, usually subsidized by their home institution and the federal government, give away the ownership of their intellectual property largely to for-profit publishers ... The publisher then sells the intellectual property back to the university as journal subscriptions -- at increasingly higher cost ... This process, fueled by the academy's approach to the promotion and tenure evaluation is now approaching a state of collapse."

The full abstract and more information about the series can be accessed at www.rgs.vt.edu/resmag/seminars.html.

Schiavelli is also professor of chemistry and biochemistry at Delaware, and Senior Research Fellow of the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. He chairs the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools accreditation teams and special committees, is a member of the American Association of University Professors, American Chemical Society and the Royal Society of Chemistry, London, and was a trustee of the Southeastern Universities Research Association -- one of the sponsors of the electronic theses and dissertation initiative at Virginia Tech.

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