Copyright Basics for the Health Sciences

Learn the basics of copyright law and the fair use guidelines from a health sciences perspective.

Copyright Help at UNC

Scholarly Communications Office, UNC-CH Lbraries
Provides copyright information and education to students, faculty, and staff through consultations, presentations, and classes.

Additional Copyright Help and Tools

Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the United States
A chart showing the length of a work's term of copyright protection in the U.S.

Copyright Renewal Database
Allows you to search copyright renewal records for books published between 1923 and 1963 to determine whether those books are still copyrighted

Digital Image Rights Computator
Tool provided by the Visual Resources Association to help students, faculty, and libraries determine whether a desired use of an image would require getting permission

Copyright Timeline: A History of Copyright in the United States
History of copyright law from the Association of Research Libraries


U.S. Copyright Office
Provides information on copyright basics, information circulars and pamphlets, copyright registration, forms, and more.

Creative Commons
Learn more about Creative Commons licensing and search for CC-licensed works

Other Copyright Guides and Tutorials

Copyright for Educators & Librarians and Copyright for Multimedia
Lawyer / librarians MOOCs (massive open online courses) through the Coursera platform. Learners can access lectures, quizzes, and other resources on demand.

Keep Your Copyrights
Columbia University's site for faculty authors. It includes detailed information on the meaning of common publishing contract clauses.

Copyright & Fair Use
A very useful site created by Stanford University Libraries with a number of resources related to copyright and fair use issues

Crash Course in Copyright
A through guide to copyright, especially academic issues, provided by the University of Texas

Copyright 101
A copyright tutorial provided by Brigham Young University 

Fair Use and Copyright Guidelines and Policies
Links to guidelines created by a number of universities, associations, or organizations

Credits and Feedback

This guide was created by the User Services Librarians at the UNC Health Sciences Library. Your comments and suggestions are welcome. Please send us your feedback at