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Understanding librarians’ experiences of copyright: findings from a phenomenographic study of UK information professionals

Morrison, Chris, Secker, Jane (2017) Understanding librarians’ experiences of copyright: findings from a phenomenographic study of UK information professionals. Library Management, 38 (6/7). pp. 354-368. ISSN 0143-5124. (doi:10.1108/LM-01-2017-0011) (KAR id:62325)

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Purpose: Librarians and information professionals increasingly need to deal with copyright issues in their work, however evidence suggests they can lack confidence and often refer queries to a dedicated copyright specialist. Explores the professional experiences of copyright of a group of academic librarians in the UK, with a view to devising appropriate copyright education strategies.


Uses phenomenography which is a qualitative method from education. Data was collected though group interviews to explore the variation of experience. Four categories of description were devised which are placed in an outcome space.

Findings: There were four distinct ways that librarians experience copyright in their professional lives, including viewing it as a problem, as complicated, as a known entity and as an opportunity. The variations in experience relate to a variety of factors such as the librarians’ role, ideology, level of experience, context and who they might be dealing with.

Originality/value: The first study of this nature, building on quantitative findings from a multinational survey. Concludes librarians need to be taught about copyright in a way that acknowledges and addresses the challenges so librarians view it as empowering and part of wider information literacy initiatives.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1108/LM-01-2017-0011
Uncontrolled keywords: copyright education, information literacy, phenomenography, academic libraries.
Divisions: Central Services > Information Services
Depositing User: Chris Morrison
Date Deposited: 20 Jul 2017 08:26 UTC
Last Modified: 09 Dec 2022 07:58 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Morrison, Chris:
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