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Student Publication and Copyright

The School of Social Work requires that the two print case studies be archived in the Rutgers University Library Electronic Thesis and Dissertation website.  Each student, however, can request an embargo on their case study, meaning that only the author’s name, the case study title, and the abstract is open access: the text (case study) itself is not visible. Students can first choose embargo and release the embargo at any time. They can first choose not to embargo and later choose to embargo. Rutgers open access means the case studies would be free to anyone searching the Internet and could be found when searching google scholar, for example–in short, the RU library assures that the case studies are picked up by search engines, a very nice feature. This does not preclude a student from publishing their case study elsewhere. However, some journals may not publish if the library is giving open access to the case study; in such a case, the student would embargo the RU Library text and this should satisfy a publisher.

If a student publishes their case study in a journal, RU library administrators will put a link from the embargoed location pointing the researcher to the journal that has the print case study. (However, almost all journals are not open access–free of charge. One has to access most journal articles through libraries, which means you need student or faculty library privileges; to access the article otherwise, most journals require the researcher to pay a fee–usually a handsome amount.)  If students change the case study significantly from the DSW version, via the journal publishing revision process, which is likely, then the journal may give an author permission to allow Rutgers to permit open access to the original DSW version; thus, the student could lift the embargo because it no longer affects their right to publish elsewhere. However, in most cases, once an author signs copyright to a journal, the journal owns the copyright.  The latter has always been contentious–when authors want to publish a journal article as a book chapter, for example, the journal publisher must agree. This is not true of the RU Library open access–the student author maintains copyright ownership; students are merely signing an agreement to transfer it to an open access format.

The School of Social Work requires that the multimedia project and book review be distributed via the DSW website in the interests of making these portfolio products readily available both to other scholars and to other practitioners in the field.  Students are copyright owners of their multimedia projects and book review products and can have their products embargoed–only the title, author, and abstract would be posted. Although students can embargo one or all of their products, it is our hope that students will complete portfolio products that respect the goal of engaged scholarship, that is, producing new knowledge that is open access—free to everyone.

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