Recommended Policies and Procedures for Handling Copyright in IUPAC Projects


Much of the output of the work by IUPAC Task Groups, Commissions, and Committees is published in written form or in computer databases. To encourage widespread dissemination of this output, IUPAC normally copyrights the material so as to be able to control its distribution and, in some cases, to provide a financial return that can help pay some of the expenses in creating the published material. For Recommendations and Reports published in Pure and Applied Chemistry (PAC), IUPAC routinely grants the right to reproduce or translate the material without any payment in order to foster wider dissemination. For material published in book form,including compilations of evaluated data, and for corresponding computer databases, IUPAC does not automatically grant free permission for reproduction, but considers each case on its merits.

Questions have sometimes arisen about “ownership”of material published (or about to be published) by IUPAC, primarily in terms of evaluated compilations of data in written or computer-readable form. It is clear from copyright laws and court decisions that data per se may not be copyrighted, but the form in which they are presented may be. Thus ,an IUPAC publication may use data that have appeared elsewhere, and other producers of databases may use data from IUPAC publications, so long as there is no verbatim copying of the material in the form presented. On occasion, a database produced from IUPAC-endorsed material may be thought to gain value from such an endorsement.

IUPAC Policy

  1. Current policies regarding copyright and reproduction of material from PAC allow reproduction, republication, and electronic storage and/or dissemination, without payment of royalties to IUPAC, provided that full reference is made to the source in PAC and acknowledgement is given to IUPAC. Publication of a translation into another language also requires prior approval from the relevant IUPAC National Adhering Organization.
  2. For projects that are expected to result in publishable material (in written or computer-readable form), IUPAC normally anticipates that the publication will be copyrighted by the Union, and volunteers working on the project should be made fully aware of this policy.
  3. IUPAC recognizes that, in addition to the financial support provided by the Union for each project, individuals involved in a project usually derive considerable financial resources from their employers, who may have a legitimate interest in the material emerging from the project. To the maximum extent possible, any potential conflicts should be worked out, including agreement to share copyright and/or royalties, at the inception of a project.
  4. IUPAC strives to maximize dissemination of its published material by cooperating with other entities where appropriate, including agreeing to share copyright and/or royalties, if required.

(reproduced from IUPAC Handbook, Appendix V)