Exploring copyright solutions to online‐sharing of scientific literature

Huang Xianrong (Department of Publishing Science, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China)
Li Xiao (Department of Publishing Science, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China)

Library Hi Tech

ISSN: 0737-8831

Publication date: 7 September 2010



The purpose of this paper is to explore the effective mechanisms to balance the “sharing online” and the “copyright protection” of scientific literature in the digital environment, under the existing legal systems in China.


The paper is through scrutinizing the legal provisions referring to fair‐use, statutory licensing, collective administration of copyright, and information dissemination by a library or through a computer network in current laws of the People's Republic of China, as well as through examining the successful copyright solution in China.


The paper concludes that statutory licensing plus common‐use licensing is the proper and effective approach in the current situation, while collective management should be enhanced, and technological measures should be strengthened without prejudice to the public interest.

Practical implications

The exploration of copyright solutions could raise law and policy debates, in order to realize scientific literature sharing online and facilitate scholarly communication in the digital age.


The paper describes the possible legal room from scattered provisions of laws and regulations, lists the schemes for scientific information dissemination online in sequence, provides insight into noticeable licensing models and summarizes good experience, and discusses the technological measure issues while giving adaptive suggestions. It is, therefore, of use to scholars, librarians, and practitioners in the library and information field. The suggestions can help modify the copyright laws and the policies as further step.



Xianrong, H. and Xiao, L. (2010), "Exploring copyright solutions to online‐sharing of scientific literature", Library Hi Tech, Vol. 28 No. 3, pp. 478-488. https://doi.org/10.1108/07378831011076710

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