McGoogan News

Retaining your author rights

Your article has been accepted for publication in a journal and, like your colleagues, you want it to have the widest possible distribution and impact in the scholarly community. In the past, this required print publication. Today you have other options, like online archiving, but the publication agreement you’ll likely encounter will actually prevent broad distribution of your work.

According to the traditional publication agreement, all rights, including copyright, go to the journal. You probably want to include sections of your article in later works. You might want to give copies to your class or distribute it among colleagues. And you likely want to place it on your Web page or in an online repository if you had the choice. These are all ways to give your research wide exposure and fulfill your goals as a scholar, but they are inhibited by the traditional agreement. If you sign on the publisher’s dotted line, is there any way to retain these critical rights?

Transferring copyright doesn’t have to be all or nothing. The law allows you to transfer copyright while holding back rights for yourself and others. An author amendment was approved by the University of Nebraska Medical Center Faculty Senate April 2010.  All authors of the University of Nebraska are welcome to attach this amendment to their publisher agreements or copyright transfer.  It is not a requirement, but a recommendation for authors to retain key rights.  The prime purpose of the amendment is to help authors who are uncomfortable negotiating contract terms with publishers. Because the amendment is merely a proposed contract modification, a publisher may accept or reject it. You may negotiate for all or any one of the rights.

Scrutinize the Publication Agreement

  • Read the publication agreement with great care. Publishers’ agreements (often titled “Copyright Transfer Agreement”) have traditionally been used to transfer copyright or key use rights from author to publisher. They are written by publishers and may capture more of your rights than are necessary to publish the work. Ensuring the agreement is balanced and has a clear statement of your rights is up to you.
  • Publishing agreements are negotiable. Publishers require only your permission to publish an article, not a wholesale transfer of copyright. Hold onto rights to make use of the work in ways that serve your needs and that promote education and research activities.
  • Value the copyright in your intellectual property. A journal article is often the culmination of years of study, research, and hard work. The more the article is read and cited, the greater its value. But if you give away control in the copyright agreement, you may limit its use. Before transferring ownership of your intellectual output, understand the consequences and options.

What if the publisher rejects the author amendment?

  • Explain to the publisher why it is important for you to retain these rights in your own work.
  • Ask the publisher to articulate why the license rights provided under the UNMC Author Amendment are insufficient to allow publication.
  • Evaluate the adequacy of the publisher’s response in light of the reasonable and growing need for authors to retain certain key rights to their works.
  • Consider publishing with an organization that will facilitate the widest dissemination of their authors’ works, to help them fulfill their personal and professional goals as scholars.

How to use the UNMC Author Amendment

  1. Print out, sign and date the Author Amendment. The corresponding author can sign on behalf of all authors.
  2. Staple the Author Amendment to the publisher’s agreement or copyright transfer form.
  3. Write “Subject to attached amendment” below your signature on the publisher’s copyright transfer or publication agreement form. This phrase along with your signature serves to inform the publisher that you accept the publisher’s agreement only if the publisher accepts the attached Author Amendment.
  4. Make copies of all the forms for your records.


Adapted from Author Rights: using the SPARC Author Addendum to secure your rights as an author of a journal article.

Easily find articles on specific groups with Embase

By Roxanne Cox

Embase has many named groups to aid in your searching.  Using the thesaurus called Emtree you can pinpoint your search results to named groups such as ethnic groups, citizen groups, marital status, occupation, geographic or population groups.

In 2014, 300 new terms were added for ethnic and citizen groups, making it possible for searchers to highlight almost any ethnic or citizen group mentioned in Embase articles. Please note that the named group must be a significant factor of the article to be assigned a term. Citizen groups range from Nauruan to Palauan to EU citizen to Tajik to Eritrean and ethnic groups include groups such as the Caddoan people, Seminole or Turkmen.

Emtree has more preferred terms with over 60,000 compared to PubMed/Medline’s 26,000 terms.  For your next search consider using Embase, which also includes Medline.

If you have any questions concerning databases,  search strategies, or would like to request that an Education and Research Service librarian assist you with a search please contact us at

From the archives: Telemedicine at UNMC

By John Schleicher

UNMC was a leader in using technology to carry out distance education and telemedicine. An early form of teleconferencing was used to present educational conferences to a number of participating locations across Nebraska as well as in other states. This innovation was first proposed in 1955 by Dr. Cecil Wittson (at that time head of the former Nebraska Psychiatric Institute), and developed through the cooperation of the Bell Telephone Company. The system was used weekly to share the lectures of the institute’s many nationally known visitors with other mental hospitals in four states.19xxPsychiatric_Institute_Benschoter

The first two-way closed circuit television system in the U.S. was conceived by Dr. Wittson and developed and tested through grant support secured in 1963. This television system made possible face-to-face communication between the Nebraska Psychiatric Institute located on the medical campus in Omaha and the Norfolk State Mental Hospital 112 miles away. Dr. Wittson’s close associate in these telemedicine innovations was Reba Benschoter, Ph.D. (shown). Wittson was chair of Psychiatry (1952-1964), COM Dean (1964-1968), and the first Chancellor of UNMC (1968-1972). Dr. Benschoter was later head of the Biomedical Communications Department and from 1985-1995 she was associate dean of the School of Allied Health Professions.

New books in the collection

  • America’s top doctors: the best in American medicine: America’s trusted source for identifying top doctors. WA 22 AA1 A5127 2014
  • Biochemistry Christopher K. Mathews … [et al.]. QU 4 M31b 2013
  • Celiac disease: a guide to living with gluten intolerance Sylvia A. Llewelyn Bower, RN with Mary Kay Sharrett, MS, RD, LD, CNSD, and Steve Plogsted, PharmD[M01]. WD 175 B674c 2014
  • Confronting chronic pain: a pain doctor’s guide to relief Steven H. Richeimer, M.D. with Kathy Steligo. WL 704 R397c 2014
  • ICD-9-CM: international classification of diseases, 9th revision ; clinical modification, sixth edition, color coded, 2015 Practice Management Information Corporation (PMIC) WB 15 I15cm 2015
  • The Johns Hopkins guide to diabetes: for patients and families Christopher D. Saudek, M.D., Richard R. Rubin, Ph. D., CDE, Thomas W. Donner, M.D. WK 850 J622 2014
  • The lupus encyclopedia: a comprehensive guide for patients and families Donald E. Thomas, Jr., MD, FACP, FACR. WR 152 T361l 2014
  • On the cancer frontier: one man, one disease, and a medical revolution Paul A. Marks, MD and James Sterngold. QZ 11.1 M3423o 2014

In the library with a study room

In Study Room-0942By Dawn Wilson

If you’re looking for a private place to study, look no further than the 16 rooms in the McGoogan Library of Medicine. Located on the 7th floor, all of the rooms have good lighting, a table and chairs, white boards, and electrical outlets.

Here’s a few things to keep in mind when using the study rooms:

  • Rooms check out for 4 hours at a time with 2 renewals.
  • You must have your UNMC ID card to check out and to renew your rooms.
  • If you don’t renew or return your key on time, overdue fines accrue at a rate of $1/hour.
  • Wi-Fi is available in all of the rooms (and so the internet ports are no longer connected).
  • Every room is a different temperature.
  • The rooms are different sizes, to accommodate anywhere between one person and six people in a study group.
  • The rooms are not soundproof, so although closing the door cuts down on noise, please be considerate when studying in groups.
  • Markers, erasers, and white boards are available in every room–and some of the rooms have boards that take up two walls for extra notation space!
  • Most of the rooms contain portraits of alumni or photographs donated by alumni.
  • The doors lock automatically, so make sure you take your key with you!

Many students have memorized their favorite rooms and ask for them by number. If you don’t have a favorite room, check out the map below and this chart of room details.

Study Rooms MapB