Copyright FAQ

NARIC serves as a library, collecting research documents focusing on disability and rehabilitation research. We request research documents from NIDILRR funded projects and make them available through the REHABDATA index and our website. Several project administrators have expressed concerns regarding copyright protection for the materials they are asked to submit to the NARIC collection. Here are some Frequently Asked/Answered Questions we hope will address your concerns:

Q: Can I send my documents to you even if they are protected by a publisher's copyright?
A: Yes! NARIC is a library and clearinghouse. As such, we can collect and archive whole journals, individual articles, books, book chapters, papers, reports, etc., under the doctrine of fair use. Copyright law sections 107 (Fair Use) and 108 (Libraries) make allowances for library-related use of copyrighted material, including reserves, interlibrary loan, and research-related copying: " is not an infringement of copyright for a library or archive, or any of its employees acting within the scope of their employment, to reproduce no more than one copy or phonorecord of a work, or to distribute such copy or phonorecord if--
  1. the reproduction or distribution is made without any purpose of direct or indirect commercial advantage;
  2. the collections of the library or archives are (i) open to the public, or (ii) available not only to researchers affiliated with the library or archives or with the institution of which it is a part, but also to other persons doing research in a specialized field; and
  3. the reproduction or distribution of the work includes a notice of copyright."

We include an invoice with all orders which includes a notice of copyright. We also post this notice in our library and on our website.

Q: Can I send you an electronic copy of an article, even if it's protected by a publisher's copyright?
A: Yes! The Digital Millennium Copyright Act allows libraries collect and archive electronically. It "permits up to three copies, which may be digital, provided that digital copies are not made available to the public outside the library premises. In addition, the amended section permits such a library or archive to copy a work into a new format if the original format becomes obsolete -- that is, the machine or device used to render the work perceptible is no longer manufactured or is no longer reasonably available in the commercial marketplace." NARIC may collect your works electronically, or we may scan and archive them in the future, provided we do not make them available for electronic distribution. No copyrighted material is ever made available to our patrons in electronic format outside of the NARIC premises.
Q: Do you make any electronic documents available to the public via your website?
A: Yes, we do! Portions of the original research collection (Os) are available online in full, accessible text (PDFs). We currently have approximately 1,700 electronic documents available to the public through These include reports, newsletters, guides, and other materials generated with federal research funds. We monitor which documents are downloaded and how often. If your documents are already available online, we may also link to the existing file. We collect a copyright release form for each project (see attached) and keep it on file. One release will cover all of the documents we may collect from your project. If you are not sure whether your project has submitted a release, please feel free to fill out and email/fax the attached form.
Please note: This does not apply to journal articles! If you submit your published journal articles in electronic format, we will store the articles on our internal servers and may use the files to print copies for document requests. We will never email, post, or otherwise distribute electronic copies of your published journal articles.
Q: We produced a training manual that is for sale through our center. Can we prevent electronic distribution through your website or document delivery service?
A: Yes! Please let us know when you have items you would prefer to distribute through your dissemination program. We will still abstract and archive the document. However, the REHABDATA record will indicate that the document is restricted by copyright and we will direct interested patrons to your point of contact.

As NIDILRR's library, NARIC's mission is to collect and archive the results of your research, the reports, articles, curricula, conference proceedings, and other publications, and make them available to the public. Our active collection development activities include a strong subscription portfolio, database monitoring, and regular contact with our fellow grantees and contractors. Our collection is open to the public: physically, visitors are welcome in the "stacks"; electronically speaking, our collection is fully indexed and described in REHABDATA. The majority of our "traditional" collection is available to the public through our document delivery service. Documents are photocopied and shipped for 5¢ per page. Books and other reference works outside of the Original Research collection are copyright restricted: We may photocopy the table of contents and publisher information free of charge so the patron can make other arrangements.

For further information on copyright, please visit