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Scholarly Communication

Digital Humanities for Tomorrow

Opening the Conversation About DH Project Preservation

By Rachael G. Samberg & Stacy Reardon

After intensive research, hard work, and maybe even fundraising, you launch your digital humanities (DH) project into the world. Researchers anywhere have instant access to your web app, digital archive, data set, or project website. But what will happen to your scholarly output in five years? In twenty-five? What happens if you change institutions, or institutional priorities shift? Will your digital project be updated or forced to close up shop? Who should ensure that your project remains available to researchers? Which departments should guide long-term sustainability of your research? (more…)

My Dissertation Is Online! Wait – My Dissertation Is Online?! Copyright & Your Magnum Opus

This post was originally published on the University of California Scholarly Communication Blog.

Picture of balloons floating away

Picture of balloons floating away.

CELEBRATION, BFICK, CC BY 2.0

You’ve worked painstakingly for years (we won’t let on how many) on your magnum opus: your dissertation—the scholarly key to completing your graduate degree, securing a possible first book deal, and making inroads toward faculty status somewhere. Then, as you are about to submit your pièce de résistance through ProQuest’s online administration system, you are confronted with the realization that—for students at many institutions—your dissertation is about to be made available open access online to readers all over the world (hurrah! and gulp).

Because your dissertation will be openly available online, there are many questions you need to address—both about what you put in your dissertation, and the choices you’ll need to make as you put it online. If you are a first-time author, facing these concerns can be daunting to say the least. And you definitely don’t want to be thinking about them for the first time when you are scrambling to submit your dissertation to ProQuest.

For instance, you’ll need to consider:

  • Are you using materials created by other people in your dissertation? Perhaps you’re using photos, text excerpts, scientific drawings or diagrams? You might need the authors’ permission to include them.
  • Are you using materials from a library’s special collections or archives? You may have signed agreements or accepted terms of use that affect what you can publish from those materials. (Examples: Archive.org, Harvard’s Houghton Library, Smithsonian, and Niels Bohr Library & Archives.)
  • Are you including information about particular living individuals? You might need to consider their privacy rights (see, for instance, a discussion on p. 15 of a University of Michigan dissertation guide).
  • If you own copyright in your dissertation (as most grad students in the UC campus system do), should you register your copyright?
  • Do you need to embargo your dissertation for privacy, patent, or other concerns?
  • Should you license your dissertation for greater use by others?

At UC Berkeley, we’ve created a workflow and guide for you to tackle these kinds of important copyright and other legal questions. Below, I’ve included highlights from the workflow, but there are plenty more best practices to draw upon in the guide. What follows are, of course, exactly that: best practices, and not legal advice. Your local scholarly communication officer or librarian (see this list for some resources around UC) can help you find additional information as you consider these issues for your own dissertation.

Copyright Basics First

Before using the workflow, it can be helpful first to understand what copyright is—and is not. In short, copyright means that authors get exclusive publishing, reproduction, and other rights over their original works of expression for limited periods of time.

What this means for your dissertation is: If you’re including someone else’s work that’s “in copyright,” meaning protectable by copyright law and still within that limited time period (usually at least an author’s life + 70 years in the U.S), then you need to think about whether you need the author’s permission to include that work. You don’t need permission if your use would be “fair” under the law. Don’t worry, our guide helps address what’s considered fair use, as well as what’s eligible for copyright protection to begin with.

Okay, on to the workflow. Remember, you’ll need to ask these questions for every work you include that was created by someone else. And, keep in mind that addressing these questions takes time.

The Workflow

Step 1: Do you need permission first to include someone else’s work online?

You don’t need the copyright holder’s permission to include an excerpt / photo / diagram / whatever-you’re-using if any one of the following is true:

  1. The copyright holder has already granted a license for you to include their work. Sometimes, authors have already provided permission through grants such as Creative Commons licenses. For instance, this is a photo of people talking over ice cream that I took and that you can use for any purposes as long as you attribute me as the author (i.e. I’ve applied a Creative Commons Attribution, or CC-BY license, to it).
  1. The work is in the public domain. Public domain works are open for use with no permission needed. Just because a work is online does not mean it’s in the public domain. Rather, public domain refers to works for which copyright protections have expired, or works that were ineligible for protection in the first place (facts, ideas, federal government materials, etc.).
  1. Publishing the content would be fair use. Fair use—which is meant to encourage teaching, research, scholarship, criticism, and parody—allows you to exercise the otherwise-exclusive rights of the copyright holder (distribution, creating adaptations, etc.) without having to seek the copyright holder’s permission. For a use to be fair, though, you have to consider four factors that collectively weigh in favor of “fair use.” Records of your fair use analysis—which you can create by filling out a checklist—can be very helpful to have on hand if there are ever questions about your reasoning or use.

Remember: Attribution is not the same as permission! Even if you cite your sources (which, of course, you will!), this doesn’t mean you have permission to include the excerpts from them in the first place. And, if you’re linking to an authorized (e.g. not illegally-posted) source, it’s always fine (at least in the U.S.!) to link to the content online rather than including the item itself.

Step 2: If the copyright holder’s permission is needed, how do you get it?

If you couldn’t answer “yes” to anything in Step 1, you’ll need to seek the copyright holder’s permission to include the work or excerpt in your dissertation. Obtaining permission can take a long time, so plan in advance. You’ll need to research and locate the copyright holder and then ask, in writing, for permission covering all your intended uses. Here are some useful sample permission request letters:

Remember: A copyright holder’s silence is not permission. If you do not hear back in response to your request, you are now faced with a question of risk assessment, and whether to keep seeking permission or embrace the likelihood (or not) of the rights holder challenging your use down the road. In some of these situations, you may ultimately decide to limit your use further, or use a different work entirely—but you’ll need to make a decision one way or the other.

Step 3: What about other non-copyright legal or policy concerns?

Human subject research methodology, issues of indigenous knowledge, and other ethical concerns are best discussed with your dissertation advisors and institutional review boards. But the workflow does address a few other legal questions that at first might seem like copyright questions, yet actually pertain to different legal doctrines.

For instance, while copyright protects copyright holders’ property rights in their works, privacy law protects the interests of people who are the subjects of those works. Privacy rights in scholarship most often arise if you are seeking to use third party content like correspondence, diaries, and images that contain personal information about or pictures of particular people. But, they expire at death—meaning, you can’t be liable for disclosing private facts about a person no longer living. There are typically two additional important defenses to claims for invasion of privacy: newsworthiness and permission. If the material you wish to include reveals private facts that are of public interest or concern (which your dissertation scholarship may be) or if the person who is the subject of the information has given you permission to include it (which you may have obtained), then an invasion of privacy claim should not be sustainable.

Another non-copyright legal issue that often comes up in the context of dissertations is contract law (see p. 185 of Peter Hirtle’s excellent book on digitization). If you are using materials from archives, museums, library special collections, you may need to consider website terms of use agreements or contracts you signed (or clicked through online) with the archival institution. This is because, irrespective of whether the materials are protected by copyright, you may have entered into an agreement dictating whether or not you can include material from the works. Read carefully any agreement or website terms of use that you are asked to agree to. Inquire with the library or archives directly about whether a waiver is possible if you need one, or seek additional information from them about securing the right to publish.

Step 4: Address publication issues.

If you are a UC graduate student, your dissertation will be made available through ProQuest and/or published open access online in eScholarship. There are some issues to consider before clicking “submit”:

  • Should you register your copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office? As a UC student, in most cases, you automatically own the copyright in your dissertation. However, registering copyright in your dissertation offers certain distinct advantages: It provides public record that you are indeed the author and owner, and also enables greater enforcement of your rights against infringers or plagiarists.
  • Should you embargo your dissertation? Making your work available to be read online immediately has many advantages. Not only does it establish when your work was created and published (which can help combat plagiarism), but also it can help build your academic reputation. There are circumstances, however, that would warrant an embargo—such as situations where there would be disclosure of patentable rights or there are ethical concerns, or a book/journal publisher has demanded it (which is rare). You should consult guidance from your institution about when embargos are recommended or approved. For instance, here are UC Berkeley’s guidelines on embargoes.
  • Do you want to license your work beyond fair use? As with any other copyrighted work, other scholars can make fair use of your dissertation in their own research. You can also decide to license your work beyond what fair use allows by applying a Creative Commons license to it. This should be a careful decision, which you discuss fully with your dissertation advisors and journal or monograph publishers in your field. There may be discipline-specific reasons to decide to—or not to—license your work, so examine them closely.

Once you get into the groove of answering these workflow questions, you’ll become a pro at addressing copyright and other policy issues in all of your subsequent scholarship, too. Perhaps the two most important points to keep in mind are:

Good luck, and keep writing!

P.S. Want more beyond our guide? There are several other excellent online resources about electronic dissertations to check out:

Library kicks off Open Access Week with talks, tips, treats

On Monday, the University Library kicked off the first of five days of Open Access programming, designed to help Berkeley students better understand and utilize Open Access publishing. Workshops cover everything from how your dissertation will be published, to how you can publish your data for maximum impact, or how your digital humanities project will be preserved for future generations. Check out the full program and follow the action live on Twitter.

Photographs by Rachael Samberg for the University Library

Open Access Week 2016. (Photo by Rachael Samberg for the University Library)

Students can access OA resources in key locations all week, including Doe Library. (Photo by Rachael Samberg for the University Library)

Open Access Week postcards. (Photo by Rachael Samberg for the University Library)

Open Access Week postcards highlight the events. (Photo by Rachael Samberg for the University Library)

Open Access Week schwag. (Photo by Rachael Samberg for the University Library)

Open Access Week schwag keeps OA nerds happy. (Photo by Rachael Samberg for the University Library)

Open Access Week session. (Photo by Rachael Samberg for the University Library)

Digital humanities researchers and stakeholders discuss the future of research in Doe Library. (Photo by Rachael Samberg for the University Library)

Open Access Week is a global effort to highlight the connections that OA makes possible by removing barriers between readers and scholarly publication. Through OA, people around the world can more easily find, use, cite, and build upon knowledge and ideas.

Connect Your Scholarship: Open Access Week 2016

Open Access Week 2016

Open Access connects your scholarship to the world, and for the week of Oct. 24-28, the UC Berkeley Library is highlighting these connections with five exciting workshops and panels.

What’s Open Access?

Open Access (OA) is the free, immediate, online availability of scholarship. Often, OA scholarship is also free of accompanying copyright or licensing reuse restrictions, promoting further innovation. OA removes barriers between readers and scholarly publications—connecting readers to information, and scholars to emerging scholarship and other authors with whom they can collaborate, or whose work they can test, innovate with, and expand upon.

Open Access Week @ UC Berkeley

OA Week 2016 is a global effort to bring attention to the connections that OA makes possible. At UC Berkeley, the University Library—with participation from partners like the D-Lab, California Digital Library, DH@Berkeley, and more—has put together engaging programming demonstrating OA’s connections in action. We hope to see you there.

Schedule

To register for these events and find out more, please visit our OA Week 2016 guide.

  • Digital Humanities for Tomorrow
    2-4 pm, Monday October 24, Doe Library 303
  • Copyright and Your Dissertation
    4-5 pm, Monday October 24, Sproul Hall 309
  • Publishing Your Dissertation
    2-3 pm, Tuesday October 25, Sproul Hall 309
  • Increase and Track Your Scholarly Impact
    2-3 pm, Thursday October 27, Sproul Hall 309
  • Current Topics in Data Publishing
    2-3 pm, Friday October 28, Doe Library 190

You can also talk to a Library expert from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. on Oct. 24-28 at:

  • North Gate Hall (Mon., Tue.)
  • Kroeber Hall (Wed.–Fri.)

Event attendance and table visits earn raffle tickets for a prize drawing on October 28!

Sponsored by the UC Berkeley Library, and organized by the Library’s Scholarly Communication Expertise Group. Contact Library Scholarly Communication Officer, Rachael Samberg (rsamberg@berkeley.edu), with questions.

Q & A with New Scholarly Communications Officer

The Library’s new Scholarly Communications Officer, Rachael Samberg, offered this overview of her work recently. Rachael joined us in late June and came from Stanford Law School’s library, where she was head of reference & instructional services and lecturer in law. Her recent presentation in the Library is available at Slide Share.

What inspires you about this new position?

The system of scholarly communication—through which research and other scholarly writings and output is created, evaluated, disseminated, and preserved—has been around for centuries, but it’s going through incredible changes now at every stage of its lifecycle. There are so many exciting opportunities and roles for the Library in helping to support and shepherd these changes—whether we are talking about promoting discoverability and recognition of our scholars’ research and writing, helping to shape funding models that will sustain scholarly communication as open and accessible for use and re-use, making data and text more available for research and analysis, disseminating and preserving emerging types of scholarly communication (like data sets, visualizations, and code), and beyond.

The UC System performs nearly one-tenth of all the academic research and development conducted in the United States, and produces approximately one-twelfth of all U.S. research publications. So, the Library’s ability to bring added visibility and provide lifecycle support for UC Berkeley scholars’ research and publishing can thus have tremendous global impact, and potentially help us shape national and international policies and practices in scholarly publishing.

What particular challenges do we face?

How do we make sure that our scholars have research and published materials available for review, use, and reuse in writing, teaching, and learning? How do we ensure that scholars can discover the information they need, and have their work discovered by others to increase their impact and promote idea exchange?

UC Berkeley is no exception to progressive constraints resulting from the fact that the books, periodicals and journals in which research findings are published (and that scholars and students need to access) are expensive and often available only through increasingly out-of-reach subscription fees. This also is a large, multi-disciplinary campus. Needs and preferences vary across disciplines—everything from how important scholars feel open access is to maximizing their scholarly impact and communicating findings, to what type of Library support researchers need for finding, using, and preserving their output. There likely will not be solutions that universally satisfy all of our scholars’ needs—so the challenges lie in being adaptive and responsive to individuals and programs, and creating tailored support and outreach across an expansive campus.

Yet, the so-called challenges are also the great fun of it! It will be immensely satisfying to help build responsive and nuanced policies to support use and access of research and collections, and promote visibility and discoverability of UC Berkeley’s scholarly output. And, besides, who doesn’t love a good, thorny copyright or licensing question in the process?

What are your priorities over the next 6-9 months?

The Library is a service organization, and support for scholarly communication will be a suite of services, too, covering scholars’ needs in research, publication, teaching, and access and use issues for library collections. I’m working on developing the program plan now, and the priorities will be to:

  • Create a website outlining services, and brimming with helpful guidance materials for researchers on all aspects of the scholarly publishing lifecycle.
  • Help develop policy and provide education regarding permissions and licensing questions for research and library collections, and use of intellectual property in one’s research, scholarship, and course materials.
  • Create and provide tailored training materials and workshops for students and faculty.
  • Provide training and updates on scholarly communication issues for library staff. (We are all scholarly communication service providers at the Library!)
  • Work towards making more educational resources open and affordable for students.
  • Foster campus engagement around open access publishing, and the UC OA policy.
  • Engage in strategic planning and analysis to help shape the scholarly communication field more broadly, to help benefit the UC Berkeley community and beyond.

Whew! There’s a lot going on even in the short term. These priorities necessitate a significant amount of outreach and intake, so you’ll likely see me running around campus to meet with people and offer workshops and support.

Post contributed by:
Damaris Moore
Library Communications Office

New Scholarly Communications Officer, Rachael Samberg

Rachael Samberg, Scholarly Communications Officer

Rachael Samberg has accepted our offer of the position of Scholarly Communications Officer.

Rachael comes to us from the Stanford Law Library. She is completing her sixth year there as a reference librarian and lecturer in law. Before that she spent seven years as an intellectual property attorney at Fenwick & West LLP in San Francisco. She has her J.D. from Duke University, an MLIS from the University of Washington, and a BS in Biology and Classics from Tufts University.

From these highlights, you can see that Rachael brings both considerable IP legal experience, librarian experience, and teaching expertise to lead our growing commitment to becoming a leader in the worldwide movement to transform the scholarly communications landscape. She will put all these skills to great use, as she advises faculty, grad students and other researchers on how to use scholarly materials in their research and publications, how to disseminate their findings in ways that broaden its reach and impact, and how our campus can engage in programs and practices that hasten the transition from a closed-access, subscription based publishing world to one with open access and lower costs.

Another area in which Rachael has developed expertise is not as directly relevant to her new position, but will surely be of interest to a number of our folks: legal archives. Rachael has been chair of the Archives Committee of the Northern California Association of Law Libraries since 2011, and has published several articles on preserving legal history and collecting state court files. I’m imagining she’ll be spending her lunch breaks noodling around in the basement of Bancroft where we keep the California land case archives.

Jeff MacKie-Mason
University Librarian

Open Access Publishing Vouchers Available for RSC Journals – 2015

Publish gold open access articles in RSC journals at no charge

The UC Berkeley Library is partnering with the Royal Society of Chemistry to support free Gold Open Access publishing under the RSC’s Gold for Gold initiative.

This program offers voucher codes that enable Berkeley researchers to publish their paper in Royal Society of Chemistry journals free of charge, as a Gold Open Access (OA) article, without paying the normal article publication fee (between £1000 and £2500).

Benefits of Gold OA publishing

Gold Open Access publishing makes electronic versions of papers accessible to readers for free – without any subscriptions or fees.

Removing paywall barriers may increase the visibility of research findings since works are easier to disseminate, easier to find, and easier to read.  Further details about RSC journals and Open Access are available here.

You are eligible if

  • You are affiliated with UC Berkeley or LBNL (e.g., student, staff, faculty) and
  • Your article is new and has been accepted for publication by RSC (i.e., vouchers cannot be used for articles that have already been published) and
  • You have not previously received a Gold for Gold voucher from the UC Berkeley Library in 2015

Get your voucher code

After your article has been accepted for publication by an RSC journal, please complete the form at http://goo.gl/GAUwr to request your Gold for Gold voucher code.

Due to limited numbers, the Library will distribute the voucher codes on a first-come-first-served basis.

Fine print

  • Voucher codes are provided only after your article has been accepted for publication
  • Voucher codes must be used before December 31, 2015

Questions

Please contact Jeffery Loo, Chemistry Librarian, at jloo [at] berkeley.edu

Open Access Publishing Vouchers Available for RSC Journals – 2014

Publish gold open access articles in RSC journals at no charge

The UC Berkeley Library is partnering with the Royal Society of Chemistry to support free Gold Open Access publishing under the RSC’s Gold for Gold initiative.

This program offers voucher codes that enable Berkeley researchers to publish their paper in Royal Society of Chemistry journals free of charge, as a Gold Open Access (OA) article, without paying the normal article publication fee (between £1000 and £2500).

Benefits of Gold OA publishing

Gold Open Access publishing makes electronic versions of papers accessible to readers for free – without any subscriptions or fees.

Removing paywall barriers may increase the visibility of research findings since works are easier to disseminate, easier to find, and easier to read.  Further details about RSC journals and Open Access are available here.

You are eligible if

  • You are affiliated with UC Berkeley or LBNL (e.g., student, staff, faculty) and
  • Your article is new and has been accepted for publication by RSC (i.e., vouchers cannot be used for articles that have already been published) and
  • You have not previously received a Gold for Gold voucher from the UC Berkeley Library in 2014

Get your voucher code

After your article has been accepted for publication by an RSC journal, please complete the form at http://goo.gl/GAUwr to request your Gold for Gold voucher code.

Due to limited numbers, the Library will distribute the voucher codes on a first-come-first-served basis.

Fine print

  • Voucher codes are provided only after your article has been accepted for publication
  • Voucher codes must be used before December 31, 2014

Questions

Please contact Jeffery Loo, Chemistry Librarian, at jloo [at] berkeley.edu

BRII Update

March 26, 2014: Due to the popularity of the program, the Berkeley Research Impact Initiative (BRII) has used up its funds. No new applications for BRII funding are being accepted at this time.

Those who have already been approved for funding may still submit reimbursement requests.

For other open access publishing options, see Free OA options for Berkeley authors. For questions about BRII or open access in general, contact openaccess@lists.berkeley.edu.

Free OA options for Berkeley authors

UC Berkeley authors have several options to publish their article in open access journals. Open access (OA), which is literature that is free, digital and available to anyone online thus ensuring broad worldwide readership has the potential to increase the impact of the research presented.

Listed below are three peer-reviewed, rapid dissemination, OA journals in which Berkeley authors can publish without paying an article processing charge (APC).

  • PeerJ: publishes original research in the biological, medical and health sciences. Due to a partnership with the Berkeley Library, there is no cost for Berkeley authors to publish in PeerJ. (read more)
  • SAGE Open: publishes original research and review articles in humanities, social and behavioral sciences. The Library underwrites Berkeley authors’ publishing costs. (read more)
  • eLife: publishes original research in life sciences and biomedicine. It is free to publish in eLife while the journal is being established though there are plans to institute article processing charges for authors in the future.

There are many other options for publishing open access, most of which require authors to pay an article processing charge (APC). For more information on these publishing outlets, see Selective List of Open Access Fees.

If you have any questions, please ask your Library Liaison.

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