Leveraging the License: Part II

From 2015 to 2017, I served as co-chair of the Bloomington Faculty Council (BFC) Library Committee. The committee worked for two years to pass, by a unanimous vote of the BFC, the IU Bloomington Open Access Policy.

During my time as co-chair, I spoke with dozens of faculty members, including department chairs and administrators, about the policy. In addition to touting the benefits of Open Access, such as more exposure and potential impact for the scholarship of faculty authors achieved by means of free access and long-term preservation, I routinely described the Open Access as ‘symbolic’ and ‘heuristic’.

By symbolic, I wanted to suggest that adoption of the policy would add the moral authority of another large public research university, such as Indiana University – Bloomington, to the list of U.S. colleges and universities who have adopted such policies.

By heuristic, I meant to express my view that the policy would – and now does – provide an impetus for faculty to think about how they might like to be able to reuse their work in other ways that could be professionally beneficial to them, besides simply transferring their copyright to a journal publisher in return for publication of their scholarly articles. Such uses could include freely distributing their publications through their own professional website, via social media, by means of an institutional or discipline-specific Open Access repository, or simply making them available to students in their classes. The IUB Open Access Policy fosters this goal by providing an institutional mechanism for retaining at least some of a faculty member’s copyrights in their scholarly work.

The policy is not a mandate. Faculty are not required to make their work Open Access. Under the policy, each IUB faculty member grants for themselves, at their discretion, the non-exclusive license articulated by the policy, which permits the university to make their scholarly “articles freely and widely available in an open access repository, provided that the articles are not sold, and appropriate attribution is given to authors.” Because authors can only license their work to the university in keeping with the Open Access policy if they retain enough of their rights to do so, the prior license granted in the policy provides leverage for a faculty member to use when negotiating publishing agreements with journal publishers. This is why Open Access policies, like IUB’s, which are modeled on Harvard University’s policy, are also often referred to as rights-retention policies.

While many publishers now have self-archiving policies that are consistent with the requirements of institutional and government-mandated Open Access polices (see http://www.sherpa.ac.uk/romeo/index.php), it might still be necessary to negotiate with publishers to achieve those ends. If you choose to negotiate your copyright with your publisher, the following suggested statement can be used to begin the discussion:

“Journal acknowledges that Author retains the right to provide a copy of the final manuscript, upon acceptance for Journal publication or thereafter, for compliance with the Indiana University Open Access Policy and for public archiving in IUScholarWorks as soon as possible after publication by Journal.”

This language can be added to amend a journal publishing agreement. Alternatively, IU provides a suitable form of addendum used in copyright negotiations at Big 10 Academic Alliance (formerly CIC) institutions. SPARC, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, also offers an author addendum with supporting documentation. Whether you use one of these addenda or not, the license to IUB will have force, unless you complete the opt out process. For information about opting out or obtaining a waiver letter, visit https://openscholarship.indiana.edu/.

A faculty author could have legitimate reasons to elect to opt out of the Open Access policy. One of the most prevalent reasons is the inclusion of third-party intellectual property quoted or included in a scholarly article under license from a copyright owner. Some common examples include an image or a musical excerpt. Licensing such content can be prohibitively expensive if the article is to be published in an Open Access repository. And while it is possible to deposit a faculty author’s final edited version of a scholarly article without any third-party content that exceeds fair use or is covered by a licensing agreement, an author might legitimately be concerned that the value of their article would be undermined by doing so. If an author cannot secure a license to make third-party intellectual property included in their work available with their article in an Open Access repository, they should opt out of the policy when reporting their work in their annual review on DMAI.

For help with author addenda or other intellectual property issues related to the IUB Open Access policy, please refer to the policy FAQ, or email nazapant@indiana.edu.


Statistical Somethings from IUScholarWorks: A Performer’s Guide to the Saxophone Music of Bernhard Heiden by Thomas Walsh

This post was written by the Scholarly Communication Department summer graduate assistant, Ruthann E. Miller  

This post is the first in a series that aims to highlight and showcase interesting, integral, and open scholarship in the IUScholarWorks repository. IUScholarWorks currently contains more than 8,000 unique items submitted by scholars, students, and professionals from a variety of disciplines. With all of this content, what interests readers the most?

The repository offers a section on statistics that conveniently provide the top 10 most viewed items. These results have a surprising nugget nestled away in the number 5 spot. It is a dissertation entitled, A Performer’s Guide to the Saxophone Music of Bernhard Heiden. The dissertation was written in 1999 by Thomas Walsh and later deposited into the repository in 2006. The dissertation is shared under a Creative Commons license, which is not uncommon for items authored by scholars from the Jacobs School of Music. A Creative Commons license (CC) comes in different varieties, but they all allow the author of a work to decide to allow others to freely distribute, share, and build upon their material while still retaining ownership. This particular dissertation is licensed under a CC BY-NC-ND 2.5, which means the author allows anyone to copy and redistribute the work in any medium or format. However, the author does not allow the dissertation to be used for commercial purposes and it is not permissible to alter the work. The dissertation earned the fifth position with 7,644 views. To put this into perspective, number four on the list has 8,372 and number six has 6,714.

This particular item is important for a number of reasons. First, it is a dissertation. Dissertations are arguably one of the most important steps in a scholar’s early career. They also tend to fill gaps in the literature and explore foundational disciplinary concepts or trends in greater detail. This particular dissertation is incredibly popular, as denoted by its place in the top five. Of the top five items, one is an article on why the drinking age should be lowered, two are technical reports from IU’s scientific community, and one is a journal article on education. There are no other dissertations in the top five items. Not only did a dissertation crack the top five, but it is also the only one in the top ten!

The focus Thomas Walsh applies to the work of Bernard Heiden is fascinating. Walsh spends time providing a biographical sketch of Heiden as well as historical background on Heiden’s pieces that include saxophone. Much of the personal information included in the dissertation was obtained from several interviews Walsh conducted with Heiden. His final interview was in May 1999 and, unfortunately, Heiden passed away in April 2000. Heiden had a close connection with the Jacobs School of Music and was the chair of the composition department until retiring in 1974.

A Performer’s Guide to the Saxophone Music of Bernhard Heiden by Thomas Walsh also showcases the importance of making research open access. As most graduate students in the humanities can confirm, it is notoriously difficult to access dissertations, especially older ones or works connected to universities that have not promoted open access to their graduate students and faculty. Due to this, there is often information that does not find its way into new research simply due to information barriers. IU’s repository, however, provides access to a broad range of items that were formerly out of reach, including dissertations. Now, the research and efforts of newly minted scholars can be attained and used to the fullest potential. By making materials openly available, IUScholarWorks facilitates the use of  the information contained within dissertations to reach new audiences and promote the spread of ideas. This dissertation is just one example of how much impact open access can have on the world of academia.

What item(s) in IUScholarWorks do you view most? How are they unique?

To view the complete list of the highest viewed items in IUScholarWorks, visit our statistics page.