Join the Movement: The 2.5% Commitment

NB: This is a guest post from David Lewis, Dean of the IUPUI University Library.  David and the regular IO authors hope that this post will generate discussion, and we invite you to comment.

The 2.5% Commitment: Every academic library should commit to contribute 2.5% of its total budget to support the common infrastructure needed to create the open scholarly commons.

A number of things came at me at in late summer. Read more

Foibles and Follies, part three

The final foible I wanted to write about in this series of posts involves a distressingly common situation – a copyright holder who does not understand what the rights they hold actually are.

This is not the first blog post to point out that Human Synergistics International is pretty clueless about copyright.  Almost five years ago, the TechDirt blog made an effort to school Human Synergistics about fair use.  Apparently it did not work; they seem to continue to misunderstand the copyright law. Read more

Foibles and Follies, Part 2

The second folly I want to talk about is somewhat embarrassing, since it is my own.  Publication contracts are always an adventure for academic authors, of course; we are routinely taken advantage of by publishers who know that publication is a job requirement and believe they have us in a stranglehold.  I once read a comment by a lawyer who works with authors that signing an agreement with one of the major publishers was akin to getting into a car with a clearly intoxicated driver – no sensible person should do it.  So in this story I have no one but myself to blame.  Nevertheless, I want to tell folks about it because it was not one of the big publishers that treated me badly; it was my own professional organization, the American Library Association. Read more

Early Career Researchers as key partners for dislodging legacy publishing models

It’s been a busy summer for OA in Europe. On one hand, nationally coordinated efforts in places like Finland and Germany have sought (unsuccessfully so far) to pressure Elsevier into better subscription pricing and OA options. On the other hand, a group of early career researchers (ECRs) at the University of Cambridge are looking to mobilize fellow ECRs to embrace open models that are not controlled by commercial entities. In my view, these divergent approaches illustrate why we should focus our collective energies away from strategies in which commercial interests retain control under new economic conditions (see also, proposals to flip subscription payments to APCs), and towards working with ECRs and others who envision a return of scholarly dissemination responsibility to the academy. Read more

Foibles and follies, part one

It has been a while since we have posted to this site, and I want to catch up by sharing some thoughts about a few odd or disturbing developments from the past month or so.

Let’s start with a recent folly, the “settlement” in the infamous “Monkey Selfie” case.  The New York Times proclaims the settlement proposed on Monday as “a victory of sorts” for the monkey and his friends.  The “friends,” of course are PETA, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, who brought the case as Naruto’s “next friend,” trying to establish that the monkey, who they named Naruto, owned the copyright in the picture he apparently snapped.  It is not at all clear that PETA even knows which monkey it is representing, since in court papers they identify Naruto as a six-year old male, but the original photographer whose copyright claim PETA is disputing, David Slater himself identified the photogenic macaque as a female. Read more

Is the copyright world tired of exhaustion?

Over the last two weeks, I have been putting together a syllabus to teach a course in copyright law at the University of Kansas law school.  Although I have taught copyright a lot, I have never done so in a formal law school class, so this is both an exciting and intimidating process for me.

As part of planning a class session about the doctrine of first sale, I was doing a little bit of research about the Capitol Records v. ReDigi  case, which squarely confronts the issue of whether or not first sale can survive in a digital age.  The case has been going on for a while, so I will claim the process of creating a syllabus as my justification for writing about it now. Read more

Women Working In the Open

I came across this question on Twitter recently, and it got me thinking about something that I think about quite a bit:

"Please recommend women leaders in the Open Access/Science area."

Screenshot of tweet by @lteytelman

I do a lot of work around diversity, inclusion, and representation in librarianship, publishing, and higher education. And I get a lot of questions like this from people looking to diversify their lists of potential collaborators, speakers, etc. I’ve even written a bit about ways to incorporate diversity into our programming and work. Read more

Singing Out Loud: Fair Use in an Opera MOOC

This is a guest post by Barbara DeFelice, Program Director for Scholarly Communication, Copyright and Publishing at the Dartmouth College Library.

Dartmouth offers a small number of MOOCs, selected from faculty proposals, through the DartmouthX infrastructure. This includes a cross-unit team of librarians, educational designers, students and faculty. Dartmouth is providing this level of support for faculty to develop MOOCs in order to influence long-standing teaching practices through experiments in the MOOCs that are evaluated and brought into the on-campus learning experience. Read more

When is enough enough?

The lawsuit is really a rather local affair; an action brought by Louisiana State University against Elsevier alleging breach of contract.  But the facts raise significant questions  for all Elsevier customers, and especially for public universities that do business with the publishing giant (which is to say, all of us).  Even more significant, I think, is what the specific circumstances, and some of the comments made about the lawsuit, tell us about the future of scholarly communications.  In my mind, we have reached the “enough is enough” point with Elsevier. Read more

What are the next steps for open access?

Recently there has been a spate of comment expressing frustration about the allegedly slow progress of open access, and especially Green open access. It is hard to disagree with some of this sentiment, but it is important that frustration not lead us into trying to solve a problem with a worse solution.   The key, I believe, to making real advances in open access is to walk away from the commercial publishers who have dominated the market for scholarship. Only if we do that can libraries free up money from our collection budgets to do truly new things. A new business model with the same old players, even if it were possible, would be a mistake. Read more