Answered By: Juliet Marconi
Last Updated: Jan 06, 2017     Views: 105

Emailing a PDF copy of an article to a group of people involved in a journal club is not allowed under current copyright legislation. Emailing a PDF copy of an article constitutes ‘communicating’ copyrighted material.

The LKC (Library) teams’ advice, to ensure everyone is covered properly, is to:

  • Send a link to the article if it is available in full text on CKN or other free sources (eg PMC Central, open access, etc). Colleagues can then download / print their own copies
  • Send out the reference / citation (ie title, author/s, journal title, year, volume, issue, page numbers) to everyone in your journal club
    • Individuals are then responsible for obtaining / requesting their own copy under section 49 or 50 of Copyright act (ie request through a library under fair dealing provisions)

If journal club members are in the Cairns and Hinterland HHS or Torres and Cape HHS, then they can submit the request to LKC via email. Employees must include their payroll / employee ID in the email with a signature block (name & position) if registered to ensure that we comply with copyright. Or they must complete an article or book chapter request form with signed declaration or ID number (see link below).

If journal club members are working in other HHS, then they should approach their local QH library (see link below).

The other option is to obtain copyright permission (from publisher, author, anyone else who may hold any copyright in relation to the article) before distributing the article.

The main issue under the Copyright Act relates to ‘Fair dealing’ for following purposes:

  • study or research. This allows a single copy from a book (up to one chapter, or 10% whichever is the greater) and the one article in a journal publication (ie one article from each issue) or
  • criticism or review. Reviewers can make a fair use of copyright material provided they acknowledge the work. With regard to criticism and review, this can only be one reviewer with one copy.

The LKC (Library) is able to provide copies under Fair dealing provisions.

For further information (see links below):

  • QH Copying and communicating copyrighted material fact sheet

Essentially, a published article may be under contract and so you may be prohibited in reproducing it and communicating it to anyone else. Most journal subscriptions have licensing restrictions.

Australian Copyright Council fact sheet:

  • Fair Dealing: what can I use without permission

Copies can be provided for the “purposes of the Crown” (ie constitutes for work in Queensland Health role); however, this may not apply in case of journal clubs. Legal advice would need to be sought.

Contact Cairns Hospital LKC

To contact Cairns Hospital, Library & Knowledge Centre (Cairns & Hinterland Hospital & Health Service):

  • +61 7 4226 6679
  • Email
  • 08:30-17:00

Closed weekends and public holidays.