Copyright in the Health Sciences Literature: A Narrative Review




Health science educators, researchers, and clinicians are regularly faced with challenges surrounding copyright and fair use. However, little is known about how copyright is addressed in the professional literature. In order to identify themes and gaps, the authors undertook a narrative review of articles published in health sciences literature between 2000-2016. Only 154 articles were identified on the topic, which attempted to address areas of concern for educators, researchers, and clinicians across all health science disciplines. Overarching issues were identified including prevalence of misinformation or misunderstandings, particularly around fair use, and the continued need for authoritative copyright education and definition of best practices.


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Dobbins, W. N., Souder, E., & Smith, R. M. (2005). Living with fair use and TEACH: A quest for compliance. Computers Informatics Nursing, 23(3), 120–124.

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Hill, E., & Rossner, M. (2008c). You wrote it; you own it! The Journal of General Physiology, 131(6), 521–522.

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Ingram, J. (2010). Protecting hospital ratings with copyright law. The Journal of Legal Medicine, 31(2), 217–230.

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Johnson, S. H. (2003). Signing copyright transfer. Nurse Author & Editor, 13(2), 9–10.

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Juniper, E. F. (2009b). Modification, translation and adaptation of questionnaires: Should copyright laws be observed? Quality of Life Research: An International Journal of Quality of Life Aspects of Treatment, Care and Rehabilitation, 18(5), 531–533; discussion 535–539.

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How to Cite

Goben, A., & Doubleday, A. F. (2018). Copyright in the Health Sciences Literature: A Narrative Review. Journal of Copyright in Education & Librarianship, 2(2).