Judge Dismisses Hathi Trust Law Suit

Earlier this month, a judge in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan threw out  a law suit brought against Hathi Trust, Indiana University, and four other R1 university libraries by the Authors Guild, Inc. and other author rights organizations and individuals. The lawsuit alleged that by digitizing millions of works that the universities owned–many of which are considered orphan works or are no longer under copyright–the rights of authors were violated.

The judge’s decision found that the digitization project falls squarely under the Fair Use provision of copyright law, and described the Hathi Trust project as an “invaluable contribution to the progress of science and cultivation of the arts” and a boon for the visually impaired and others who are considered print-disabled.

Read more about the ruling over at the Chronicle of Higher Education.

View from a GA, Part One

My name is Nick Farris and I’m the new GA at IUScholarWorks.  I will be assisting ScholarWorks through 2013 with supporting data services on dspace and providing OJS support. Rather than give a standard, book report sounding post- I think Stacy’s post below is great jumping off point into my brief experience here at IUScholarWorks. Salo’s Innkeeper at the Roach Motel, while provocative, still seems to be as relevant today as it was in 2008.

Some of the hurtles mentioned in Salo’s article still seem to be around. It seems like the IRS were first created with the expectation that faculty would just come by and quickly provide content. This strikes me as the primary reason that IRs with broad goals have failed to quickly provide a great deal of open access content. In economics, we constantly told to think about incentives that are created by certain policy decisions or institutions. The incentives created by such an open-ended, meandering IR aren’t ideal from the scholar’s prospective- in so far as the scholars considering depositing have little practical upside (beyond perhaps getting their work to the public, the abstract future benefit of helping develop a more efficient, cost-effective method of scholarly communication) but bare the rather concrete downside risks (time investment, being scoped/plagiarized by other people). Of course, I think it is likely that greater open access of academic work would greatly benefit the academic community as a whole- but the individual incentives don’t align in a way that makes such a task easy to carry out.

I think every IR managers dream at this point is to a Harvard or UC like mandate that all works of a certain type must be deposited in the institutional repository at the end of the academic year. After all, this makes the process significantly easier- rather than hounding weary academics for journal articles or attempts to market the term “open access” to 60 year old professors, the school just makes the IR an integral part of the academic reporting at the end of the year.

While perhaps the original concept behind IRs was slightly too optimistic, I think IRs still have the power to be relevant without broad, institution-wide mandates. For example, many large grant funding organizations (such as the NSF or NIH) are now going about the process of creating policies that publicly-funded research must be archived so that the public can make use of it. ScholarWorks has been at the forefront of creating personalized, individual plans to help researchers archive large amounts of their datasets into the scholarworks and then help with the compliance paperwork. I suspect that these types of projects will become increasingly common and important over the next decade.

One last note- and not a particular well-thought out one at that- but last week’s EconTalk (which along with NPR’s Planet Money are the best economics/finance podcasts around) dealt with the closely associated topic of the problems of academic incentives in scientific research and publishing. While I often hear librarians complain about publishers for financial reasons, Professor Nosek brought up a whole host of reasons that the entire journal-based scholarly communication method is troublesome for its most fundamental goal of producing robust, reproducible science (ie the incentives to publish bombastic positive results but few to publish negative ones, the file drawer effect, and the lack of interest in publishing verifications).  He recommended services like Open Science Framework and the PsychFileDrawer that has many similarities to IRs (posting pre-prints, allowing the general community to review and discuss articles and data, etc ). I wonder to the extent that university IRs could assist or promote this practice. Could an IR provide the tools to help this conversation along? Maybe next month’s post can highlight this theme in more depth.

Sources: http://www.econtalk.org/archives/2012/09/nosek_on_truth.html

Archiving Conference Works in IUScholarWorks Repository

The IUScholarWorks Open Access Research Repository can be an excellent archive for IU conference and workshop presentations in whatever form they take.  Often times these types of materials are difficult,  perhaps impossible, to locate after the event.  If there is value in preserving these materials and making them available at a permanent Internet location, please contact us.

To participate in the Repository, the rightsholder (in all likelihood, the presenter) needs to be able to accept the Repository’s non-exclusive license.  While it is best to have the license accepted before the event, it is possible to track down presenters from past events in order for their materials to be archived.

It is not necessary to have every presentation from a conference or workshop archived in the Repository.  It is possible to deposit the event program so that users may understand the full scope of the event when all presentations are not available.  It is also possible for rightsholders to opt for a Creative Commons license to their work when they elect to archive them in the Repository.

If this service could extend the value of a conference or workshop, please contact IUScholarWorks staff.   We will help devise a workflow for the responsible group that will result in a collection similar to the Latin American Music Center’s 50th Anniversary Cultural Counterpoints conference.

Welcome to a new year! IUScholarWorks Services

Welcome back for the 2012-2013 school year!  We’d like to remind our faculty and students of the services provided by IUScholarWorks, the open access publishing program of the IU Libraries:

  • New this year: Data Services: Indiana University Bloomington’s Data Management Service provides consultations on funding agency mandated data management plans, and data storage, access, and preservation options offered free-of-charge to campus researchers. Visit the IU Bloomington Data Management Service webpage for more information.
  • Journal Publishing:  We support IU faculty and graduate students who run electronic journals with their editorial needs such as author submissions, peer review, and journal website.  Please visit the IUScholarWorks Journals website or our recent blog post that showcases our publishing services.
  • Scholarly Research Archive:  Faculty can use our free, secure storage as a place for their Open Access research materials. The archive supports working papers, technical reports, media files, published articles, book chapters, and data: large and small.  Visit the archive, check it out, and contact us to learn more.
  • Graduate student theses and dissertations:  We actively collect PhD and EdD theses in the scholarly research archive.  A variety of departments also use the archive to showcase their masters theses.
  • Teaching: The Libraries Scholarly Communication department staff is available to lead workshops and guest lectures regarding our services, scholarly communication issues relative to the disciplines, and topics related to intellectual property and author rights.  Checkout our workshops pages (here and here) to see the latest offerings.

Visit the IUScholarWorks website to learn more about our services or to contact our staff

New Google Scholar Research Alert Functionality: “Scholar Updates”

Google Scholar recently released a new functionality to their service called Scholar Updates. It builds upon the existing research alerts offered by Google Scholar, which are similar in nature to those offered by ISI Web of Science and other academic databases.

Google Scholar alerts require manual set up, where a user defines a specific query relevant to their research interests using Boolean terms. While advanced users relish the flexibility of Google Scholar alerts, those who do not have the time or know-how to set up queries don’t find much value in the service.

Scholar Updates, on the other hand, has enhanced the existing alerts service by automating it for users who have a Google Scholar Citations profile. As evolutionary biologist, Jonathan Eisen, explains on his blog, Citations profiles are scraped by the Scholar Updates service in order to determine authors’ research interests and relevant keywords, based on their publication history. The service then returns relevant articles from the web  by “determin[ing] relevance using a statistical model that incorporates what [an author’s] work is about, the citation graph between articles, the fact that interests can change over time, and the authors [that a researcher] works with and cites” (Connor, 2012).

According to Eisen, Scholar Updates are surprisingly relevant to his interests. Other researchers are not so sure that the service is ready for prime time.

Have you started using Scholar Updates? What do you think of the service so far?

Open Access gains critical mass with two new petitions

Two recently launched petitions have called attention to important issues in scholarly publishing: cost and access.

The Cost of Knowledge petition, sparked by a frustrated mathematician’s blog post, was launched earlier this year to call attention to what researchers believe are unfair and opaque journal pricing practices, as well as support for American anti-Open Access (OA) legislation by the Dutch publisher, Elsevier. The petition, which now has nearly 12,000 signatories, allows supporters to indicate their discipline, institutional affiliation, and whether they plan to boycott Elsevier by refusing to publish in, referee for, or do editorial work for their journals.

While many laud the petition as an example of effective grassroots organizing that led Elsevier to withdraw support for the Research Works Act (a response much appreciated by librarians), critics of the boycott have pointed out that singling out Elsevier is unfair, given similar legislative support shown by other publishers. Some even go so far as to say that Elsevier’s “Big Deal” journal pricing practices are beneficial to libraries, small journals, and societies alike.

Riding the wave of awareness created by the Cost of Knowledge petition, a campaign called “#OAMonday” began on Twitter on May 21. #OAMonday (led by SPARC, Access2Research, and a variety of prominent figures in the OA movement) has drummed up an impressive amount of support in a short amount of time for a White House petition that asks President Obama to implement an access policy, similar to the Public Access Policy of the National Institutes of Health, for all federally funded research. (Pro-Open Access bills such as FRPAA have historically had a hard time making it through Congress; this petition seems to be a way around that. ) As of this posting, the petition is almost at the 22,000 mark.

Even if the petition does reach its goal by the June 19th deadline, it’s hard to say what the outcome will be. We already know that the Obama administration supports Open Access to federally funded research. The “We the People” petitions’ only promise is: “If a petition gets enough support, White House staff will review it, ensure it’s sent to the appropriate policy experts, and issue an official response.”

Whatever the result, one thing is for sure: this is an exciting time to be a researcher, librarian, or advocate interested in Open Access.

Further reading

Arnold, DN & Cohn, H. (2012). Mathematicians take a stand. Arxiv.org. Retrieved from http://arxiv.org/abs/1204.1351

Bambauer, D. (28 May 2012). Support Open Access to Government-Funded Science. Info/Law. Retrieved from http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/infolaw/2012/05/28/support-open-access-to-government-funded-science/

Jha, A. (9 April 2012). Academic spring: how an angry maths blog sparked a scientific revolution. The Guardian. Retrieved from http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2012/apr/09/frustrated-blogpost-boycott-scientific-journals

(#19) Publications, Publishing, Publisher, Public

In full disclosure, I have not (recently) consulted a dictionary regarding these words, but I am going to discuss some thoughts I have on their definition(s).

To make public is how I primarily think about publishing.  That’s a pretty simple view and I am certain it would not hold up in a legal case.  Each day, as digital publishing librarian, I help scholars and researchers (authors) make their publications public (publish) using the technology our team has available within the IUScholarWorks suite of services.

We manage traditional forms of publications, i.e., text, and we work with audio and visual materials too.  We explore and in some cases support new publication trends and forms such as portals, blogs as scholarly serialsmash-ups and alternative metrics.

We engage in open access publishing, but we are not certain that we are a publisher.  Why do we, maybe it is really just I, keep questioning this?

To help me figure this out, I engaged in an exercise to list out the things we provide for journal publications via the IUScholarWorks Journals Service.  We:

  1. Support the journal’s publisher of choice – whether it is IUScholarWorks or another entity such as a society or association.
  2. Support a journal’s copyright policy of choice and consult on intellectual property matters upon request.
  3. Support continuous publishing with no requirements or restrictions on pages or the number of volumes/issues per year.
  4. Publish non-text materials like video, audio, and images – in the article or supplemental to an article.
  5. Provide tools that manage editorial work: blind peer review system, electronic author submissions, communication amongst those doing the work/editing, and various reader tools may be elected to be turned on such as: comments, contacting the author, notify a colleague, how to cite (MLA, APA, Chicago style).
  6. Continue services for a publication once it has moved from Indiana University.
  7. Provide and manage trusted infrastructure and policies for the preservation of digital objects.
  8. Support a journal’s unique URL for their publication if they manage the domain registration.
  9. Train on software and provide technical support.
  10. Supply article-level use statistics – currently annually.
  11. Supply announcements and table of contents feeds to readers.
  12. Import back-files if rights can be transferred (if necessary).
  13. Update library cataloging records supplied to OCLC – so that records across libraries can be updated.
  14. Support harvestable metadata for discovery by various search engines.
  15. Supply metadata and articles to indexing/abstracting services (such as Ebsco or Proquest).
  16. Manage or help apply for an ISSN (international standard serial number).
  17. Provide limited design work as student staff expertise permits.  If a journal is migrating to our platform, we will endeavor to keep the design as similar as possible within our framework constraints.
  18. Are genuinely helpful and supportive to our scholars and researchers.

It’s an impressive list of what IUScholarWorks services and staff can do for a journal publication. Perhaps, upon review, IUScholarWorks Journals is a publisher, publishing various publications and making them publicly accessible to the world-wide public. I also came up with a shorter list of things we do not do, and I will write about them soon.

(#18) Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

We began last month exploring why copyright plays in important role in scholarly communication by looking at one case – publishing.  Copyright also plays important roles in other ways that scholars do their work.  As Clifford Lynch has said, “The most fundamental part of research, teaching, and scholarly discourse is the ability to build upon both evidence and prior scholarship.” (Center for Intellectual Property Handbook, p. 154) This building upon requires both access to the material as well as the ability to use portions of it to build your own case, make an argument against it, or to perhaps to establish a common understanding within your field.  This ability to use other works is not just important; it is, to use Cliff’s word, fundamental.

Many of the questions that I receive are about the use of others’ copyrighted work.  Can I include this image in my paper?  Can I show this film clip in my class?  Many of these questions rely on those limitations I also touched upon last time.  To recap: Section 106 of the copyright law goes about defining the exclusive rights of authors and creators.  Sections 107 through 122 are about setting limits on those exclusive rights.  These are not exceptions to copyright law.  These are statute defined limitations on the exclusive rights of the author.  I believe this is a very important distinction as exceptions are generally thought of as a thing to be gotten rid of, but defined limitations has a very different connotation.

Scholars rely on many of these limitations in order to do their work.  The most frequently used sections of the copyright law in higher education are Sections 107 (the fair use section), Section 108 (specifically for libraries and archives), and Section 110 (deals with teaching).  These are not the only parts of the law that scholars rely on, but probably the most heavily used.  More on each of these in future posts.  For now, let’s just think about how important it is to have the ability to build upon the scholarship of others, teach about developments in a field, or to freely read about these areas of our choosing.

(#17) Google Scholar Metrics: A New Resource for Authors (and Librarians?)

Google Scholar quietly launched a new service, Google Scholar Metrics, earlier this month. Google Scholar Metrics allows users to browse a ranked list of publications in a variety of disciplines, sorted according to their h-indices.

Google Scholar envisions that authors will use the service to “consider where to publish their latest article,” and also discover resources outside of their primary field of study. (As interdisciplinary research continues to grow, the latter functionality will likely become increasingly valuable.) Resources are also categorized by language, and journals may also be searched for using non-English terms (e.g. “salud”)—albeit on a limited basis.

Since the service launched, I’ve been thinking a lot about what Google Scholar Metrics can do for librarians. The first—and most obvious—possibility is that subject librarians can use it in a way similar to authors, in order to become familiar with new resources outside of their primary area of focus. They also might use it to supplement their calculation of the potential value of new journals (and not to mention that of traditional resources), before making purchasing decisions.

Collection development and scholarly communication librarians might be able to use the service to garner support for creating or increasing the budget for their institution’s Open Access publishing fund or institutional repository. Open Access journals, such as those in the PLoS* family, are relatively well-represented in this list. And as you can see in the below screencap (Top English Language Publications), OA repositories (red arrows) rank higher than some traditional heavyweights (blue arrows) such as the Lancet, Cell, and PNAS.

 Image: Screenshot of Google Scholar metrics

What uses do you envision for Google Scholar Metrics in the realm of libraries?

Further reading:

Google starts ranking journals,” Significance Magazine

The next revolution in Science: Open Access will open new ways to measure scientific output,” Open Knowledge Foundation – @ccess

* Full disclosure: I was formerly employed by PLoS and continue to be a staunch supporter of this wonderful non-profit.