Fair use is a wonderful right granted in the United States copyright act that enables people to make limited uses of copyrighted content without needing permission from the copyright owners. Fair Use Week, February 23-27, is a time to celebrate fair use and highlight how it can be used. To that end, the Association of Research Libraries created the Fair Use Fundamentals infographic. Learn how you can exercise fair use to your benefit!
The Vision2020: Charting a Course for Academic Computing at Wake Forest white paper draft released last fall prompted many conversations among various campus groups about the potential impacts of the report’s recommendations on the future of technology on teaching and research. The recommendations for scholarship and creative production strongly emphasized embracing the ideals of the open access movement (see pp. 11-12, 16-17).
What does that mean, exactly?
While it is too early to speculate on how this vision might be achieved, it isn’t too early to address some misunderstandings about open access: what it is, what it isn’t, and why you may already be a fan (and just not know it!).
Open access IS:
- A movement to remove access and reuse barriers to scholarship
- An opportunity for authors to retain rights under copyright (if not their full copyright)
- About publishing and archiving of scholarship
Open access is NOT:
- Exclusively about publishing: open access can be achieved by retaining archiving rights, regardless of whether the publication venue is traditional or open
- A curb on academic freedom: institutional open access policies, such as that adoped by the ZSR Library faculty, applies to peer-reviewed journal articles only, not to monographs, textbooks, or other publications; such policies also include opt-out clauses, so that you are not forced to choose between: a) publishing in an ideal venue that doesn’t allow author archiving, or b) publishing in a less ideal venue that does allow author archiving
You may already be a fan of openness to scholarship IF:
- You have shared your publications with someone who requested a copy (perhaps due to lack of access…?)
- You are active on Mendeley, arXiv, SSRN, Academia.edu, ResearchGate, etc., and have posted your publications for others to access, read, share, etc.
Open access is a framework for sharing, not a rigid set of restrictive rules. And should our university decide to move toward open access, I trust that move will foster open sharing and discovery of our collective intellectual capital in ways that are inclusive of all.
The above infographic charts the growth of the university’s Open Access Fund since its creation in 2008. To request funding for your OA publication, submit an Open Access Fund Application.
To view a larger version of the infographic, visit https://magic.piktochart.com/output/2458332-open-access-fund.
Last month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued a ruling in the Authors Guild vs. HathiTrust case, loudly cheered by libraries for its affirmation of a lower court’s ruling that digitization for the HathiTrust Digital Library constitutes fair use. ARL Policy Notes posted a good synopsis of the ruling, and HathiTrust issued a statement and rounded up links to coverage, should you want to read more on the decision itself.
This week, Jonathan Band, noted intellectual property attorney and legal counsel for the Library Copyright Alliance, issued a paper addressing how libraries interested in mass digitization projects can look to the HathiTrust decision for guidance. It is a short but detailed analysis of the decision that, coupled with the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use, provides reassurance to libraries that, provided they meet certain standards, mass digitization projects may be permissible under fair use.
Today, a faculty member made my day.
In August 2013, Dr. Peter D. Weigl, Research Professor of Biology, applied to our Open Access Fund, seeking support for an article on temperate mountain grasslands accepted for publication in Biological Reviews. He wanted to make is work available OA, as he knew that his research would be of interest to policy makers, conservationists, and others beyond the normal readership of the journal. His fund application met our criteria, and he was successfully funded by three departments at Wake Forest University: the Z. Smith Reynolds Library, the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, and the Department of Biology. His article, “Temperate mountain grasslands: a climate-herbivore hypothesis for origins and persistence,” co-authored with Travis W. Knowles, was first published online last October.
This morning, Dr. Weigl stopped by my office to let me know that his hopes in publishing his article OA were realized: because his article was openly accessible, he has made new research connections, and been invited to speak, including at a symposium in Oxford. He thanked me for the library’s and University’s commitment to Open Access, and to his research.
This is why OA works.
This summer, three of my esteemed scholarly communication colleagues – Kevin Smith (Duke), Lisa Macklin (Emory), and Anne Gilliland (UNC) – will be teaching Copyright for Educators and Librarians. This course aims to provide an overview of U.S. copyright law “to empower teachers and librarians at all grade levels.” If you’ve ever wanted to know more about copyright, particularly if you’ve felt hampered in your teaching because you were fearful of copyright, I encourage you to sign up. I’m taking the course because I always learn something new when Kevin, Lisa, and Anne present, and because copyright is fun!
When the U.S. Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014 this week, it included language tucked away in Sec. 527 that gives a huge boost to public access to Federally funded research. The bill requires all Federal agencies with research & development budgets of $100 million+ each year to provide free, online access to peer-reviewed articles stemming from Federal funds within 12 months of publication. The agencies impacted include the Department of Education, the Department of Health and Human Services (which includes the National Institutes of Health, Food and Drug Administration, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, among other sub-agencies), and the Department of Labor. (more…)
This morning brought good news to Google, libraries, and all of us who rely on fair use: Google Books, and the scanning project to create it, is a fair use! U.S. District Judge Denny Chin issued a decision in the 8-year legal battle between the Authors Guild and Google, with Google being the decisive winner. Judge Chin specifically noted that the libraries who partnered with Google to have their holdings scanned for the Google Books corpus may also make use of those scans (the libraries got their own local copies of their scanned volumes, which is where the backbone of HathiTrust evolved). And because there was a decision rather than a settlement, it creates opportunities for others to make similar uses by looking to this ruling for guidance. Although the Authors Guild has expressed its intent to appeal (frustrating, but not surprising; it is also appealing last year’s summary judgement in its separate case against HathiTrust), this is yet another big win in the fair use column!
Interesting news stories and projects usually come to light during Open Access Week, and this year proves no exception. I’ve seen libraries around the country host panels of faculty researchers, organize workshops for faculty and graduate students, offer outreach events for undergraduates, and post photos of displays demonstrating the true costs of accessing research. Lots of exciting engagement!
This morning, I call attention to two items that have caught my eye this week. The first is an article by Peter Suber, published on Monday in The Guardian. In his piece, Suber deconstructs 6 myths about open access. Those 6 myths are:
- The only way to provide open access to peer-reviewed journal articles is to publish in open access journals.
- All or most open access journals charge publication feesl
- Most author-side fees are paid by the authors themselves.
- Publishing in a conventional journal closes the door on making the same work open access.
- Open access journals are intrinsically low in quality.
- Open access mandates infringe academic freedom.
I strongly encourage you to go read the article, as Suber’s myth-busting is spot on.
The second item you should check out is Mark Sample’s Disembargo project. Sample is releasing from embargo his dissertation, one character at a time, over the course of 6 years. Earlier this year, the American Historical Association issued a statement strongly encouraging graduate students in history to embargo their dissertations for up to 6 years, claiming evidence – apparently, only anecdotal – that dissertations with shorter embargoes are less likely to be published as books, as publishers consider openly-available dissertations to be previously published. Many, including Sample, found this advice to be off the mark. As Sample explains in his ProfHacker blog post about his project, “Disembargo is an open access dissertation (my own), emerging from a self-imposed six-year embargo, one letter at a time. Every ten minutes Disembargo releases a single character—a letter, number, or space—from my final dissertation manuscript.” Sample goes on to share the questions that ran through his mind as he create his Disembargo project: “How does an academic embargo play out? Who benefits from an embargoed dissertation? How much value does withheld research accrue? And how long is six years when it comes to scholarly communication? To at least this last question Disembargo provides a satisfying answer: publishing six letters an hour is an excruciating pace that dramatizes the silence of a six-year embargo.” Indeed.
Take time to look at both of these items. Then mull over the implications of keeping research locked down and out-of-sight, thinking not of the challenges in changing the scholarly communication system as we now know it, but rather of the risks in not doing so.
ZSR Library is celebrating the sixth international Open Access Week, October 21-27, with three events to engage our campus community around this year’s theme, “Redefining Impact.”
– Monday, Oct. 21 at 12pm for an informal, brown bag lunch conversation with colleagues. Ask questions about open access, and hear what others have to share.
- Tuesday, Oct. 22 at 4pm for a presentation on Altmetrics and Scholarly Impact, which will compare the emerging area of altmetrics with traditional impact measures (e.g., the Journal Impact Factor, Eigenfactor), and explore how altmetrics may be used.
- Wednesday, Oct. 23 at 2pm for an online discussion with Dr. Peter Suber, Director of the Harvard Office of Scholarly Communications and the Harvard Open Access Project, who is an internationally-recognized leader of the open access movement.
Faculty, graduate students, research support staff, and undergraduate students are all encouraged to attend. For additional information about these events, or about open access generally, contact Molly Keener, Scholarly Communication Librarian.