(#3) Access to research and the role of libraries

Kevin Smith, author of the Scholarly Communications @ Duke blog (definitely check that one out!), recently pointed to a video that beautifully sums up the importance of capturing research for the public good, and the central role that libraries play in that mission.  As Smith says,

“In her four-minute speech Commissioner Kroes does two important things.  First, she succinctly states the case for public access to government-funded research, including the data that underlies research.  She provides a sterling example of a politician (she was in both the Dutch Parliament and its cabinet) who really understands the needs and difficulties of scholarly research, as well as the opportunities provided by the digital environment.  The second important part of Commissioner Kroes’ speech is her announcement that the European Commission will expand its public access mandate for funded research to include all research supported by the EC.  Time for the U.S. to follow suit, if we do not want to lose ground in innovation and economic development”

I was struck by the Commissioner’s support for libraries as a central partner in this endeavor.  Check out this video!

(#2) What is an institutional repository?

I’d like to introduce you to IUScholarWorks Repository and explain what it can do for you, the IU researcher.

A definition of institutional repository (IR) by Clifford Lynch, Director of the Coalition for Networked Information :

“a university-based institutional repository is a set of services that a university offers to the members of its community for the management and dissemination of digital materials created by the institution and its community members. It is most essentially an organizational commitment to the stewardship of these digital materials, including long-term preservation where appropriate, as well as organization and access or distribution.” (2003; http://www.arl.org/bm~doc/br226ir.pdf)

IUScholarWorks Repository is an open access institutional repository and serves as a place to permanently archive research materials in any format such as:

  • Previously published materials (articles, book chapters, etc.)
  • Conference works and unpublished scholarly works
  • Lectures
  • Data files and databases

Understanding open access. Peter Suber, an  independent policy strategist for open access to research, provides a useful definition:

“Open-access (OA) literature is digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions.” (2004, revised 2010; http://www.earlham.edu/~peters/fos/overview.htm)

How does a researcher get started with the IUScholarWorks Repository?
IU Researchers should contact the IUScholarWorks administrator (me, Jennifer Laherty) via email at iusw@indiana.edu or jlaherty@indiana.edu if you are interested in depositing your research materials.  Together and often with assistance from Sherri Michaels, the Intellectual Property Librarian at IU Bloomington, we will determine if you have the rights to deposit your research materials, or if we need to seek permission from the rightsholder in order to make the deposit.  For each item submitted to the repository, the rightsholder must agree to the non-exclusive IUScholarWorks Repository license.

Although it should seem that the author is the rightsholder to the material, this is not often the case for materials already published, such as articles and book chapters.  In most cases, an author transfers a cadre of copyrights to their publisher in a copyright transfer agreement.  It is important to understand which rights were transferred in order to determine if the author has the right to post their work to an open access institutional repository.  We can help navigate to answer this question.  For students desiring to deposit their research, it may be done with permission of their academic department.

Once the copyright situation is figured out, research may be deposited.  Here’s a very short list of some interesting materials in IUScholarWorks:

Some words about access and preservation
IUScholarWorks Repository makes your research freely and broadly available to a worldwide audience (open access); it uses technology (DSpace) and metadata standards (the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting, OAI-PMH) to ensure your works are more findable on the Internet; and the Libraries take care to archive and preserve your works for future generations.  IUScholarWorks is privileged to have support from the IU Digital Library Program, a a collaborative effort of the IU Libraries and University Information Technology Services in its efforts to achieve its mission.

(#1) What is Scholarly Communication?

Welcome to the IU Libraries Scholarly Communication blog!  This blog will be a way to keep abreast of scholarly communications news and developments of interest to the IU community.  So what exactly is scholarly communication?  The Association of College and Research Libraries defines it as:

the system through which research and other scholarly writings are created, evaluated for quality, disseminated to the scholarly community, and preserved for future use. The system includes both formal means of communication, such as publication in peer-reviewed journals, and informal channels, such as electronic listservs.”
(http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/acrl/publications/whitepapers/principlesstrategies.cfm )

As you can see from this definition, we’ll be covering a wide-range of topics covering all stages of the research and dissemination process.  Since copyright plays an important role in this area, we’ll be throwing quite a bit of that in as well.  If you’re looking for more information about a particular topic, just let us know and we’ll try to cover it.  Welcome to the blog!