I am in the process of applying to some jobs, and part of the application process is the requirement to upload scholarly work. Does an author of a published article have the right to upload the published article to the job application? The assumption is that this would not be widely shared, but only with say the recruiting manager. Would this run afoul of copyright?

1 Answer 1


To take it literally, it depends. Most likely when you gave up copyright to the article you got back a license for certain uses. This use ia probably covered in the license, but you have to read it to know for sure.

The other issue is that in most places copyright violations are a civil law matter, which means someone needs to "care enough" about an infringement to want to start a lawsuit. It seems unlikely that it would be noticed by the holder and even less likely that they would care.

However, you can ask some questions. Ask the copyright holder if they mind? Ask the place you are applying to if it is ok to upload source information for copyrighted material, rather than the text itself.

At a minimum you should mark any uploaded material giving copyright information and saying that it is "not for distribution".

I don't know if "fair use" applies to such a case as IANAL. Probably not, explicitly. Note, however, that one of the key tenets of fair use is that it not degrade the commercial value of the copyrighted work. I doubt that this use could possibly do that.

  • 5
    In the old days, one would pull a copy off the stack of reprints you got from the journal. No sane publisher is going to complain that you sent along a copy for a job application.
    – Jon Custer
    Nov 17, 2021 at 15:09
  • @JonCuster, true enough. I still have some of those. I was just covering all the bases (or all the ones I could think of).
    – Buffy
    Nov 17, 2021 at 15:12
  • The copyright problems may be mitigated if you use the author's copy of the work that many journals are starting to provide to authors to post on their websites. But in general, that would also be very dependent on the journal policies.
    – mcianster
    Nov 17, 2021 at 22:40

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .