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Center for Health Evidence: Copyright FAQ


 Copyright - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Please be diligent in understanding copyright laws before sharing licensed content, including posting an article on a website (internal or external) or printing multiple print copies for a journal club or class. Copyright law gives the copyright owner the exclusive right to reproduce and distribute their work. Depending on the copyright holder's requirements and how the content will be reused, it may require you to request permissions, or purchase a pay-per-use license. One exception to this is called the Fair Use Exception. The Fair Use exception allows for limited use and purposes of copyrighted works, without the permission of the copyright holder. 

For more information, see 


 What is Fair Use? 

A: Refer to the Four Factors of Fair Use

When considering whether the use of copyrighted material falls under Fair Use, review these four factors:

  • The purpose and character of the use
  • The nature of the copyrighted work
  • The amount and substantiality of the work
  • The effect of the use on the potential market for or the value of the work

In summary, Fair Use law favors the use of copyrighted work for nonprofit educational uses. 


 Can I send this PDF to a colleague at Huntington Hospital?

A: Yes, if the article is available from our subscribed resources, within the public domain, or an open-access publicationfeel free to share with a colleague at Huntington Hospital. Please do not share licensed articles obtained from outside libraries or organizationsIf distributing an article for a journal club or class, we recommend using articles from our subscribed resources. Contact us if you need assistance to find a relevant article from our subscribed resources. 


 Can I send this PDF to a colleague outside of Huntington Hospital?

A: It depends on where the article was supplied. If the article or content is within the public domain or an open-access publication it can be shared with a colleague outside of Huntington Hospital. An article or content that we have subscribed to for Huntington Hospital or ordered from outside libraries should not be shared with anyone outside of the organization. 


 Can I post this to an external website? 

A: Proceed with caution! Please review the publisher’s copyright permission requirements. Purchase the pay-per-use license and/or request permissions from the publisher as specified. Another option is to share a link to the article’s abstract from an open online website such as the publisher’s journal webpage, PubMed or post the citation.


 Can I post this to an internal website? 

A: First, please review the Fair Use copyright law. Consider whether the use of the work falls under the "fair use exception" before posting the full-text PDF to the internal website. 

Here are a few 'safe' options for posting articles to an internal website if you are still unsure if the content falls under Fair Use:

1. share a link to the article’s abstract/database record where users can download an individual copy

2. post the citation

3. provide information on how they can request a copy of the full text from the Center for Health Evidence librarians 

In some cases, you may have to purchase the pay-per-use license and/or request permissions from the publisher as specified. 


 How can I get copyright permissions to distribute an article in a class or post to a website?

A: From the Publisher Website:

1. Locate the article's abstract from the publisher's website.

2. Find the 'Permissions' information link or dropdown, which should take you to the 'RightsLink' form. Fill out the form by answering each question. When completed you will receive a price quote to purchase the copyright license to reuse the content based on your answers. Or email the publisher permissions email address to request permissions directly. 


A: From the Copyright Clearance Center:

1. Go to 

2. Search for the publication. Enter the title or ISSN number and click the search symbol. From the search results, click on the “Pay-Per-Use Options” button for the appropriate journal-title.  

3. Choose the desired type of use and click the “Price and Order” button.


A: Contact the Rightsholder Directly: Usually, the email information can be found on the publisher's website. Contact us if you need help.


 Can I reuse an Image? 

A: First, please review the Usage Rights or Terms of Use for the image. 

Here are things to consider when using images: 

1. Always check the individual resource's terms of use. 

2. Check for a Creative Commons License 

3. Public Domain images are free to use however you like. 

4. You cannot download or use images from Google without seeking permission from the copyright holder unless your use falls within one of the exceptions or the work is distributed under an open license such as Creative Commons.