CommonKnowledge – Content Policies

CommonKnowledge Content Policies

CommonKnowledge - Content Policies

All contributors to CommonKnowledge are required to complete a formal submission agreement (or provide analogous assurances in writing) that describes the disposition of intellectual property within the submitted work, and which acknowledges the contributors’ responsibilities with regard to the content of the submission. Depending on the configuration of the specific content collection, the submission agreement will be completed either physically, via email, or via the CommonKnowledge platform.


Contributors to CommonKnowledge must hold the copyright (either solely or jointly), or have the permission of the copyright holder(s) (with the exceptions noted below), for the content that they submit to CommonKnowledge. Copyright for content submitted to CommonKnowledge is retained by the author/creator/copyright holder(s); no copyrights are transferred to Pacific University or the University Libraries. However, contributors must provide Pacific University and the University Libraries with a non-exclusive, royalty-free license to use, display, distribute, transmit, copy, reproduce, archive or otherwise make accessible the content through CommonKnowledge.

Inclusion of Third-Party Copyrighted Materials / Fair Use

For previously published full-text materials (e.g. journal articles), the copyright status of each item will be reviewed prior to public posting in CommonKnowledge, and every effort will be made to ensure that ingesting and providing access through CommonKnowledge is in compliance with copyright holders’ stated policies.

For unpublished materials (e.g. student coursework, theses/dissertations, faculty or student conference presentations, etc.) assurances will be received from the creator(s) during the submission process that, if necessary, permission has been obtained from owners of third-party copyrighted materials included in the unpublished work. In the instance of a mediated submission wherein a formal submission agreement is not received, it is assumed that the creator of the work is not knowingly submitting infringing material.

The University Libraries do not review for compliance with copyright law the content of all such scholarly or creative unpublished materials that are submitted to CommonKnowledge. Furthermore, the Libraries fully supports the right of our community members to make fair use of copyrighted materials (as outlined in Title 17, Section 107 of the U.S. Code) in the creation of their own works. The Scholarly Communications and Research Services Librarian will not make a fair use determination of submitted work; such a determination is considered to be the responsibility of the creator(s). However, in instances when it is readily and reasonably apparent that copyright law would be violated by posting a work, the University Librares may request that the creator(s) obtain permission from any relevant copyright holder(s).

Collaborative Works

The University Libraries encourages submission of collaborative works to CommonKnowledge. When works with multiple authors, creators, or owners are submitted for inclusion in CommonKnowledge, the submitting author or owner is responsible for ensuring that the submission does not violate any existing contractual agreements governing the work and that the submission conforms to all applicable policies and laws.

Under United States copyright law, individual authors in a joint work share equal rights in that work (absent a contract to the contrary) and, as such, have the right to independently grant a non-exclusive license like that required by CommonKnowledge. Given this, the University Libraries do not require that all co-authors provide permission to post a work in CommonKnowledge. However, it is recommended that the submitting author consult with his or her co-authors prior to submitting a work to CommonKnowledge.

  • Exception: All student authors must grant permission for a shared work to be submitted to CommonKnowledge. Permission may either be granted explicitly or may be attested to by the submitting author.
Terms of Use

The following terms governs third party use of content contributed to CommonKnowledge:

General Terms of Use

For previously published works (journal articles, book chapters, etc.) for which the publisher retains copyright, permission has been granted (where necessary) to post this Material on CommonKnowledge. For any use which exceeds personal use or fair use, permission may be required by the copyright owner of the Material (see "Comments" section in the Material record).

For theses, dissertations, or other previously unpublished scholarly or creative works, the right to download or print any portion of this Material is granted by the copyright owner only for personal or educational use. The author/creator retains all proprietary rights, including copyright ownership. Any editing, other reproduction or other use of this Material by any means requires the express written permission of the copyright owner.

Except as provided above, or for any other use that is allowed by fair use (Title 17, §107 U.S.C.), you may not reproduce, republish, post, transmit or distribute any Material from this web site in any physical or digital form without the permission of the copyright owner of the Material.

Inquiries regarding further use of these materials should be addressed to: CommonKnowledge Rights, Pacific University Library, 2043 College Way, Forest Grove, OR 97116, (503) 352-7209. Email inquiries may be directed to:

Terms of Use for Creative Commons-Licensed Works

For works posted in CommonKnowledge that display a Creative Commons license in their record and/or on the work itself, the use of that work is governed by the terms of the license selected by the content creator.

For more information about Creative Commons licenses, or to license your own work, please visit

Take-Down Policy

To assure compliance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the University Libraries have instituted the follow policy to address claims of copyright infringement in works contributed to CommonKnowledge:

Persons who have questions, or who believe that their copyrights have been infringed upon by the posting of material to CommonKnowledge, may contact the administrators at:

CommonKnowledge Rights, Pacific University Library, 2043 College Way, Forest Grove, OR 97116, (503) 352-7209. Email inquiries may be directed to:

Requests to remove materials from CommonKnowledge should include:

  1. A physical or electronic signature of the owner, or authorized agent of the owner, of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.
  2. Clear identification of the copyrighted work(s) claimed to have been infringed.
  3. Clear identification of the material in CommonKnowledge that is claimed to be infringing, including the URL(s).
  4. Information reasonably sufficient to permit the University Libraries to contact the complaining party, such as an address, telephone number, and, if available, an electronic mail address at which the complaining party may be contacted.
  5. A statement that the complaining party has a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law.
  6. A statement that the information in the notification is accurate, and if applicable, that the complaining party is authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.

The University Libraries will respond to all questions or requests within one business day. If, within that timeframe, the Libraries are not able to determine that the use of the work in question is lawful, access to the work through CommonKnowledge will be removed.


No works that infringe on an individual’s privacy rights under law or under the Pacific University Privacy Policy may be submitted for inclusion in CommonKnowledge. Upon notification that content in CommonKnowledge (a) infringes on an individual’s privacy rights under law, (b) is in violation of the Pacific University Privacy Policy, or (c) is in violation of FERPA, HIPAA, or other relevant privacy laws, the Scholarly Communications and Research Services Librarian will, in consultation with the contributor, immediately withdraw or amend said content in a manner consistent with the procedures outlined in this policy (see Corrections and Withdrawals).


The University Libraries fully support the intellectual and academic freedom of the faculty, staff, and students within the Pacific University community. However, the Libraries also recognize that those freedoms may only be exercised to the extent that they do not become unlawful. As such, the Libraries require that contributors to CommonKnowledge refrain from statements that would be considered defamatory in a court of law.

As with the use of third-party copyright materials, the University Libraries will not review content submitted to CommonKnowledge for the inclusion of potentially defamatory material. However, if material of a defamatory nature comes to the attention of the University Libraries, such material may be removed from CommonKnowledge without notice.

Any individual who believes that content in CommonKnowledge may be defamatory of them or others must inform the Scholarly Communications and Research Services Librarian as soon as possible. Defamation claims may be submitted to:

CommonKnowledge – Defamation Claims, Pacific University Library, 2043 College Way, Forest Grove, OR, 97115, (503) 352-7209. Email inquiries may be directed to:

Claims of defamation should include:

  1. A physical or electronic signature of the individual claiming defamation (of self or others).
  2. Clear identification of the content in CommonKnowledge which is believed to contain defamatory statements, including the URLS(s).
  3. Clear description of the defamatory statements, as well as the rationale for the defamation claim.
  4. Information reasonably sufficient to permit the University Libraries to contact the complaining party, such as an address, telephone number, and, if available, an electronic mail address at which the complaining party may be contacted.

Upon receipt of a defamation claim, the Scholarly Communications and Research Services Librarian will disable access to the content in question and will consult with Pacific University’s legal counsel regarding the merits of the claim. If, after this consultation, the content is determined not to be defamatory, access may be restored.

The University Libraries, pending consultation with legal counsel, may also remove potentially defamatory content which comes to light independently apart from this claims/complaint procedure.

*Adapted from Coventry University

Human Subject Research

Unpublished products (e.g. manuscripts, posters, datasets, etc.) of human subjects research will only be accepted for inclusion in CommonKnowledge under the following conditions: (a) the associated research study was approved by the Pacific University Institutional Review Board*; (b) the distribution of research results through the repository is consistent with the nature of dissemination described to research subjects in the study’s informed consent document; (c) the distribution of research results through the repository has been approved by study sponsors/funders; and (d) appropriate measures consistent with the study’s protocol have been taken to ensure that distribution of results through the repository does not place subjects’ privacy at additional risk. The University Libraries reserve the right to confirm approval of associated studies with the Institutional Review Board prior to making submitted research products accessible.

*For research products that are the result of collaborative research and for which ethical oversight has been ceded to another institution’s IRB, the approval of that IRB shall be sufficient. Products of international research collaborations for which which ethical oversight has been provided in another country will be accepted for deposit upon assurance of ethical review by an IRB or relevant analogous body.

Datasets and Databases

All data products derived from (a) human subject research, (b) private educational records, (c) private health records, or (d) any other data source that is considered private by law must comply with the following guidelines prior to deposit in CommonKnowledge:

  1. Appropriate consent and/or authorization for the collection/use of the data that does not include language that would prohibit the data from being distributed through the repository must have been obtained by the depositor; and
  2. as appropriate given the terms of said consent and/or authorization, all direct identifiers must have been removed prior to deposit. For data covered by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule, all 18 identifiers must be removed (unless appropriate authorization has been granted for other forms of disclosure).

The University Library reserves the right to request documentation of appropriate consent and/or authorization for use of the data prior to making submitted data products accessible. Data derived from human subject research studies is also subject to the conditions of deposit for such studies described elsewhere in this policy.