Call for articles on Copyright in Systems of Open Knowledge


This issue of Journal of Copyright in Education and Librarianship (JCEL) will explore Copyright in Systems of Open Knowledge. This issue will begin rolling publication in Spring 2024.

Copyright and systems of open knowledge are deeply intertwined. From foundational issues in ownership and authors’ rights to nuanced questions about respecting traditional knowledge or compliance with the forthcoming OSTP Memo, open practices are grounded in copyright law. As librarians, researchers, and educators work to build more open, inclusive, and sustainable systems of scholarly communication they need to understand the law as it is and articulate a vision for what the law should be. This special issue will introduce the state of the art in this emerging area and chart a course for closer alignment of copyright and open practices in education and librarianship. Articles are invited in topics such as:

  • Strategies for compliance/support for White House OSTP’s Nelson Memo
  • Inclusion of third party materials under fair use in open scholarship and OER projects
  • Copyright ownership in public/citizen science projects
  • Implementing specific projects developed with resources on copyright in open knowledge materials such as the “Code of Best Practice in Fair Use for OER” and “Text and Data Mining and Fair Use in the United States”
  • Strategies for asserting copyright ownership and exceptions in modern library licensing negotiations such as transformative agreements or Read-and-Publish deals
  • Successful models for training researchers and educators to understand copyright issues in open knowledge practices 
  • Lessons learned from programming around events such as NASA’s Year of Open Science program on specific campuses, consortia, etc.
  • Ownership and use of open research data sets and data visualizations
  • Incorporating systems that recognize traditional knowledge into open knowledge projects
  • Establishing shared norms and international frameworks for copyright across national borders for collaborative open knowledge projects

You can learn more about types of articles here. Manuscript-length is typically around 4,500 words, but shorter works are welcomed.

The aim of this special issue is to help librarians, educators, administrators, and the public better understand how copyright law interacts with open knowledge systems. Manuscripts for this special issue are welcome from all, but are especially encouraged from those who are traditionally underrepresented in the professions of librarianship and education, and in society.

Though it is not required, the Editors encourage you to complete this form outlining your idea for a manuscript for this special issue.  

The window for manuscript submissions for this issue runs through Winter 2023 (early submissions are encouraged). Rolling publication of this issue will continue through Fall 2024.

This issue will be guest edited by Will Cross (Director of the Open Knowledge Center and current Fulbright Fellow studying copyright and open knowledge systems in the EU). If you’d like to discuss your idea for a proposal or have questions about this call for proposals, please contact the Editors of JCEL at or Will Cross at