Copyright Review Program

Open nomination of team members

Typically once a year as staffing and openings allow, HathiTrust will put out an open call for new team members in the Copyright Review Program.  Information about how to apply is shared to HathiTrust primary contacts at member institutions who then distribute the information to their community.  There is generally also an announcement made in the HathiTrust newsletter.

You many nominate as a copyright review team member if:

  • you are currently employed at a HathiTrust member library
  • your institution approves your using regular work hours to meet the minimum weekly time commitment required per project
  • you are available to attend the scheduled online training sessions or to promptly watch recordings of the training sessions

Time commitments may be adjusted according to team member’s schedule and seasonal swings however, consistency each week is preferred. Training is provided by HathiTrust staff. No prior knowledge of copyright is necessary and all work is done remotely. Due to the effort required to train reviewers, we ask that members make at least a one-year commitment for their involvement.

How to participate in an open call for team members

During the nomination periods an open Google form will be sent out to HathiTrust primary contacts. Interested libraries or individuals wanting to self-nominate should fill it out. We will assess nominations based on availability of seats and inform applicants if they are accepted.

Many HathiTrust members, especially those who have recently joined, may be less familiar with how the program operates and the specifics of what participation entails. If you are interested in learning more about this opportunity, please contact Kristina Hall,

Copyright Reviewer Job Description

The expectations and job description for reviewers investigating the copyright status of digitized works in HathiTrust are listed below.  Reviewers are designated by their institution to participate for a percentage of their regular work time.

A copyright reviewer performs the following:

  • Scans through front matter to verify the book matches the project’s legal scope, such as falling within a date range and place of publication

  • Performs a comprehensive search of the Stanford Copyright Renewal Database

  • Looks through the book’s front and back matter for credits, permissions, or acknowledgements which may indicate the presence of other copyrighted content

  • Selects a rights code that matches the correct copyright status of the work

Each book is assessed by two copyright reviewers, working independently, who must agree on the book’s copyright status. Wherever legally possible, books identified as public domain are made accessible in HathiTrust.