It’s all the same to me!: Copyright, contracts, and publisher self-archiving policies

Author: Nancy Sims

Abstract: “Green” open access—sharing copies of published scholarship online via repositories, rather than in the place of original publication—can be an appealing option for scholarly authors. It’s largely within their own control, and also often the option with least personal financial cost. Many publishers have standing policies enabling green open access of some kind, but the specifics of these policies vary widely and can be quite confusing for authors and others trying to understand and comply.

Citation: Sims, N. (2015). It’s all the same to me!: Copyright, contracts, and publisher self-archiving policies. College & Research Libraries News, 76(11), 578-581. https://doi.org/10.5860/crln.76.11.9411

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Reviewers are blinkered by bibliometrics

Authors: Paula Stephan, Reinhilde Veugelers& Jian Wang

Abstract: There is a disconnect between the research that reviewers purport to admire and the research that they actually support. As participants on multiple review panels and scientific councils, we have heard many lament researchers’ reluctance to take risks. Yet we’ve seen the same panels eschew risk and rely on bibliometric indicators for assessments, despite widespread agreement that they are imperfect measures1–6.

The review panels we observed last year were using bibliometrics in much the same way as they did before the 2015 Leiden Manifesto4, the 2012 San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment, which Nature is signing, and similar exhortations against their use. After all, bibliometric measures offer a convenient way to help evaluate a large number of proposals and papers.

Although journal impact factors (JIFs) were developed to assess journals and say little about any individual paper, reviewers routinely justify their evaluations on the basis of where candidates have published. Panel members judge applicants by Google Scholar results and use citation counts to score proposals for new research. This practice prevails even at agencies such as the European Research Council (ERC), which instructs reviewers not to look up bibliometric measures.

As economists who study science and innovation, we see engrained processes working against cherished goals. Scientists we interview routinely say that they dare not propose bold projects for funding in part because of expectations that they will produce a steady stream of papers in journals with high impact scores. The situation may be worse than assumed. Our analysis of 15 years’ worth of citation data suggests that common bibliometric measures relying on short-term windows undervalue risky research7.

How can we move beyond declarations and wean reviewers off bibliometric indicators that bias decisions against bold work?

Citation: Paula Stephan, Reinhilde Veugelers& Jian Wang. Reviewers are blinkered by bibliometrics : Nature News & Comment. Nature 544, 411–412 (doi:10.1038/544411a

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Copyright and the Use of Images as Biodiversity Data

Authors: Willi Egloff, Donat Agosti, Puneet Kishor, David Patterson, Jeremy A. Miller

Abstract: Taxonomy is the discipline responsible for charting the world’s organismic diversity, understanding ancestor/descendant relationships, and organizing all species according to a unified taxonomic classification system. Taxonomists document the attributes (characters) of organisms, with emphasis on those can be used to distinguish species from each other. Character information is compiled in the scientific literature as text, tables, and images. The information is presented according to conventions that vary among taxonomic domains; such conventions facilitate comparison among similar species, even when descriptions are published by different authors. There is considerable uncertainty within the taxonomic community as to how to re-use images that were included in taxonomic publications, especially in regard to whether copyright applies. This article deals with the principles and application of copyright law, database protection, and protection against unfair competition, as applied to images. We conclude that copyright does not apply to most images in taxonomic literature because they are presented in a standardized way and lack the creativity that is required to qualify as ‘copyrightable works’. There are exceptions, such as wildlife photographs, drawings and artwork produced in a distinctive individual form and intended for other than comparative purposes (such as visual art). Further exceptions may apply to collections of images that qualify as a database in the sense of European database protection law. In a few European countries, there is legal protection for photographs that do not qualify as works in the usual sense of copyright. It follows that most images found in taxonomic literature can be re-used for research or many other purposes without seeking permission, regardless of any copyright declaration. In observance of ethical and scholarly standards, re-users are expected to cite the author and original source of any image that they use.

Citation: Willi Egloff, Donat Agosti, Puneet Kishor, David Patterson, Jeremy A. Miller,  2017. “Copyright and the Use of Images as Biodiversity Data” 

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Rights, ethics, accuracy, and open licenses in online collections: What’s “ours” isn’t really ours

Authors: Nancy Sims

Abstract:  Digitizing existing collections and making them available online facilitates public and scholarly access to the niftiness we have squirreled away in our archives and special collections. But providing only online access to collections is of limited value when visitors don’t know how they can make use of these materials. That is why there are many efforts underway in libraries and related cultural institutions to become more active in establishing and communicating this information to our visitors.

Citation: Sims, N. (2017). Rights, ethics, accuracy, and open licenses in online collections: What’s “ours” isn’t really ours. College & Research Libraries News, 78(2), 79-82.

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Collaborative Academic Library Digital Collections Post-Cambridge University Press, HathiTrust and Google Decisions on Fair Use

Author: Michelle M. Wu

Abstract: Academic libraries face numerous stressors as they seek to meet the needs of their users through technological advances while adhering to copyright laws. This paper seeks to explore one specific proposal to balance these interests, the impact of recent decisions on its viability, and the copyright challenges that remain after these decisions.

Citation: Wu, Michelle M. “Collaborative Academic Library Digital Collections Post-Cambridge University Press, HathiTrust and Google Decisions on Fair Use.” Journal of Copyright in Education and Librarianship 1.1 (2016).

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Source: Collaborative Academic Library Digital Collections Post-Cambridge University Press, HathiTrust and Google Decisions on Fair Use | Wu | Journal of Copyright in Education & Librarianship

The Value of Copyright: A Publisher’s Perspective

Author: Harington, Robert

Abstract: Rick Anderson asked me recently to present a talk, as part of a panel, on the “Publisher’s View of Copyright”, at the upcoming Research to Reader Conference in London later this month. If you are going to stand up in front of an audience, it’s always best to know what you are talking about. While I have a general sense of what I think about the subject, and opinions to match, I thought it would be helpful to dig a little deeper, to make sure what I know is actually correct, and to try and find evidence and arguments that support what I am trying to say. First, a caveat: there is no one view of copyright that fits all publishers. The publisher of a poetry magazine will likely feel differently about aspects of copyright when compared to say the publisher of your local phone book — yes they do still exist. Indeed, even within scholarly publishing there is a range of attitudes towards copyright.

Citation: Harington, Robert. (2017). The Value of Copyright: A Publisher’s Perspective. Scholarly Kitchen.

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