Sharing copyrighted materials with Research Groups

Research groups within the University of Sheffield

Here we would like to offer some advice on the best ways to share material with colleagues in your Research Groups.

For print and electronic resources provided by the University of Sheffield Library:

  1. Where possible share a link to the publication.  This does not infringe copyright and your colleagues will be able to access the material through their own account.
  2. Where material is covered by our Copyright Licence (check here) you are allowed to copy 1 chapter/article or 10% of a publication (whichever is the greater) to share with University of Sheffield members of your research groups.
  3. If material is not available through University of Sheffield subscriptions, open access repositories or our Library catalogue you may be able to obtain copies through InterLibrary Requests.  However, please remember that these are supplied for private study and should not be shared.

Research groups with members from several different institutions

Cross-institution research groups are becoming increasingly common and sharing papers within these groups can be problematic.

However, it can be done.  Where possible share a link to the publication.  This does not infringe copyright and your colleagues will be able to access provided they have the appropriate subscription at their institution.  If subscriptions are not available there is always an option for an individual to request a copy through their Interlending service.

For all types of research groups

Use open access versions of works - these will be either the published versions offered via the journal website, or the author's accepted manuscript which has been through peer review and had the final edits made prior to publishing.  Use Unpaywall and the Open Access Button to gain access, through repositories, to versions of scholarly publications which are legally free to use.

Open access articles are usually made available under Creative Commons licences.  There may be restrictions on commercial and derivative use and sharing, so pay attention to any particular licensing requirements.