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.

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

(#16) Beyond the PDF

As the Digital Publishing Librarian I am frequently asked what format a researcher should use to publish their materials in our open access institutional repository or in our open access journals.  Leaving the other mediums aside for now, I will focus only on text files for this post.

The truth is, I spend a lot of time thinking about how to best direct researchers with this question and no great answer seems readily available.  My default response is, if you want to use PDF, please use archival PDF/A-1.  In my position I recognize how important it is to authors and editors that a document look its best, but I also need to think about how to best preserve it, digitally, for a long time.  I’m not a preservationist by a long shot, but these matters still keep me up some nights.

We have experimented with a few projects that stray from the PDF.  For example, The Medieval Review uses XML to generate their articles which they supply to our repository and in turn we then transform into HTML.  We hold on to the XML files primarily because we think they could be useful to our preservation strategy.

We’ve also worked with Museum Anthropology Review (see volume 5, issues 1-2) as time and staff help permits to create HTML versions of their PDF articles using a template a crafty student created.  While these files in particular are great HTML files, they take quite a bit of time to create as I learned one Friday afternoon last month when the editor and I sat down to try to create them ourselves!

Yes, time is a large part of the crux of the problem.  Staff expertise as well.  I have inquired of these editorial practices and support for the creation of well-formed preservable articles with other library staff doing similar work and our general response boils down to this:  we’re a shoe-string shop, trying to get by and do good work without spending a lot of time and money on the format of the output and so we resort to what seems good enough and people like:  the PDF.

In our spare time, folks like me keep abreast of the the NISO Journal Article Tag Suite – Standardized Markup for Journal Articles.  We play around with Annotum, an open-source, open-process, open-access scholarly authoring and publishing platform based on WordPress which allows for the easy creation of XML-based articles.  We try to create XML templates in Microsoft Word.  If you read into these projects you may notice many of them focus on scientific publications and I thank these developers for venturing into these arenas.  Most of the publications I support to date are humanities-based and am hopeful as humanists continue to explore viable options – ones that are easy for authors, editors, and peer reviewers to use and of course, that readers like to read.  I look forward to the possibility of discussing these questions at venues such as ThatCamp Publishing 2012.

This post is just as much a call for response as it may help point others wondering about these matters to useful resources.  I thank people like Michael Fenner at PLoS and Matthew Gold at CUNY for delving into these matters as well.

(#14) Lessons from the SPARC OA 2012 meeting, Kansas City

Recently, John Wilbanks, Fellow of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and recent Vice President of Science at Creative Commons, gave a rousing keynote address at the start of the SPARC Open Access Meeting in Kansas City (March 11-13). He made several standout points that all institutional repository managers should consider:

“We are all Veruca Salt.” We all want it NOW.

We seem to believe that scientists’ professional lives are different from their personal lives. In the age of the Kindle, it is any wonder that some scientists are frustrated with the status quo of publishing and libraries, when they can’t effortlessly sync their research across storage solutions, virtual lab benches, repositories, and journal websites as easily as they can sync their e-reader?

Wilbanks drove home the point that we need to build smarter systems immediately that are a) interoperable and b) make researchers’ work as easy as pressing a “Sync” button.

 “Data publication is not the magic answer.”

What good is data that has no context? Or raw data that has context, for that matter? Wilbanks pointed out that publishing all data, without discretion or curation, does not provide a magic answer to the problems we already have with the pace of scientific discovery (and the roadblocks that closed access publishing are thought to contribute to). We need to consider very carefully the points at which we publish data, what we choose to publish, and who edits the data that we do publish.

This has an important lesson for librarians and institutional repository managers, many of whom are currently struggling with how to create a well-formed collection development plan for their data, and how to provide services that researchers need related to data.

What is “true” Open Access?

Wilbanks and many other Open Access advocates point to the so-called “Berlin” definition of Open Access as the “true OA” standard. It is his belief that for-profit publishers have “diluted” the meaning of Open Access by applying restrictive Creative Commons licenses to papers published in their journals. Any license other than CC-BY hinders innovation, according to Wilbanks, by requiring that researchers who wish to repurpose licensed articles, data, etc, gain approval before doing so.

Wilbanks was quick to admit that “restrictive” CC licensing is often done in order to protect the commercial interests of publishers. His solution for this problem is based upon the long tail of use that research sees in its lifecycle: there’s generally a lot of interest in the first few months, but that quickly drops off. What if the license changed, based on where that research was in its life cycle (see slides 86-88)? While this is still just an idea, it is an intriguing one.

The adoption of a lifecycle approach to Open Access licensing by mainstream publishers could have a profound effect on self-archiving at IRs. No longer would we have to consult SHERPA/RoMEO to find the OA policy for an obscure journal; we could ingest items upon publication and know that after 6 months (or 1 year, etc), that embargoed item could go live. Imagine the resources and employee hours saved!

(#9) Re-blog from The Scholarly Kitchen: The White House Calls for Information on Public Access to Publications and Data

I call your attention to this post by The Scholarly Kitchen – the blog of the Society for Scholarly Publishing: The White House Calls for Information on Public Access to Publications and Data.

It is a good distillation of the issues and questions being raised by the federal government as they grapple with how to provide open access to certain types of content, namely: “…public access to journal articles from federally-funded research, and the tricky question of how to make the most of the raw data collected in those federally-funded experiments.”

Certainly, if you care to give your thoughts, I urge you to do so.  Please see the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) Request for Information.

Specifically, you can read, in the Federal Register, the RFI on public access here (comments due Jan. 2, 2012) and the RFI on digital data here (comments due Jan. 12, 2012).

(#8) Teaching Scholarly Communication

I’ll be on research leave most of November to explore ways to teach and discuss scholarly communication issues with graduate students.  My plan is to develop a workshop that could be delivered in 2-4 hours with the help and support of colleagues such as academic department graduate student advisors, subject librarians, and staff in the IUScholarWorks department.

I will be working to develop lesson plans and exercises that will focus the workshop discussions on the following interconnected scholarly communication issues:

  • budgets
  • libraries
  • author rights
  • open access
  • labor
  • versions
  • digital content
  • preservation

The ultimate goal is to inform students about these issues and give them some tools to help them guide their path forward as authors.  They will have many decisions to make as they progress as researchers in their respective fields and I feel it is important that librarians be a part of their education on these matters.

I will also conduct a literature review and will refer to various projects being led by library colleagues around the United States who are developing similar approaches to teaching scholarly communications to students.

Please look for a progress report I will make in December, and I hope to see you in one of our future workshops.

(#6) Searching WorldCat for Open Access Publications

If you’re interested in using one source to find Open Access publications in repositories around the world, I invite you to check out WorldCat.

WorldCat is the world’s largest network of library content and services. Perform your searches for books, articles, photographic images, audio, video, etc. in WorldCat and discover materials in libraries worldwide.  You can also discover freely available digital materials found in repositories worldwide.  Repositories such as the HathiTrust, Internet Archive, and institutional repositories like IUScholarWorks.

How?
Once you’ve performed your search, use the refinement tools on the left navigation side bar to narrow your results to ‘Internet Resources.’  From here, you will notice that many of the records come from a database called ‘OAIster‘ (OA meaning Open Access) and have an orange ‘View Now’ link associated.  Certainly take a look at the full record by clicking on the item’s title, but the view now link takes you to a repository that is storing the material openly for the world to access.

Check it out and please ask us or your library’s reference staff for help if you have questions.  WorldCat is a remarkable search engine.  Be sure to take advantage of creating an account and managing your resources within WorldCat.

(#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; ARL)

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.