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Date of this Version



Published in Journal of the American Dietetic Association 111:11 (November 2011), pp. 1746–1748; doi:10.1016/j.jada.2011.09.029 Copyright © 2011 American Dietetic Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. Used by permission.


Members of American Dietetic Association (ADA) or those credentialed by the Commission on Dietetic Registration agree to abide by the ADA/Commission on Dietetic Registration Code of Ethics for the dietetics profession (1). A fundamental principle within the Code is to conduct dietetics practice with honor, integrity, and fairness and to comply with all laws and regulations applicable or related to the profession. Dietetics practitioners read and apply the results of research published in professional journals and other publications to guide their evidence-based practice. Authors of research articles can, in some cases, make their work more accessible to practitioners by amendment of the copyright transfer agreements required by the publisher. And practitioners working in the United States must understand and abide by the US copyright laws that govern the fair use of these resources. In this digital age, inappropriate access to and distribution of copyrighted research content can occur. This article briefly describes the key requirements of current US copyright law, generalized to situations that a dietetics practitioner might encounter, through scenarios that illustrate implications for practitioners and suggests options for the retrieval and use of copyrighted research information while abiding by the Code of Ethics. The discovery, access, and use of freely available literature (“open access”) with proper attribution of authorship is also discussed.