The Importance of Fair Use and Standardized Rights Statements for Digital Cultural Heritage

In honor of Fair Use Week 2018, the following is a guest post from Digital Projects and Services Librarian Rachel Appel and Bibliographic Assistant III for Digital Projects Gabriel Galson. At the Libraries, Appel and Galson work on the PA Digital project. PA Digital is a statewide partnership that collects materials from Pennsylvania cultural heritage organizations and transmits them to the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA). The DPLA aggregates digital collections (images, photographs, text, maps, audio and video) shared by libraries and archives’ special collections all across the United States.

Fair use is a US legal doctrine that allows limited reuse of copyrighted materials. It is an invitation to the sort of intellectual/artistic exchange that keeps our culture vibrant, and a counterbalance against the the US’s increasingly strict copyright laws. Sampling, artistic appropriation, creative or educational quotation, parody, and text mining/textual analysis are all activities that flourish under fair use’s protection, shielded –to a degree at least– from the threat of litigation. Likewise, libraries, archives and museums around the country have been able to digitize their archival objects and make them freely accessible online because of the fair use doctrine. Many digital collections that are available through PA Digital and the Digital Public Library of America, for example, are in copyright; digitizing and making them publicly discoverable through a database platform is considered fair use. However, it is important to communicate clearly to users, such as scholars and researchers, that such works remain in copyright and have use restrictions and limitations. Fair use is a key concept that enables both digitization and reuse of digital facsimiles and is the rationale for making cultural heritage collections available online, in local repositories as well as the DPLA.

That’s where RightsStatements.org comes in. The site provides 12 normalized, standardized statements that cultural heritage institutions can use to describe the copyright status of online cultural heritage materials. A joint global project of Digital Public Library of America, Europeana, New York Public Library, University of Michigan, and other institutions, Rightsstatements.org went live in 2016. It creates three categories of statements (with four statements in each) to be used with cultural heritage materials, including some terms for use in the EU. The goal is to provide cultural heritage institutions with simple and standardized terms to summarize the copyright status of works in their collection and how those works may be used.

There are three overall categories with four specific rights statements within each: In Copyright, No Copyright, and Other. Rights Statements and Licenses are critical for digitization and data reuse. A normalized rights statement or Creative Commons license makes it so much easier for a member of the public to understand how that item can be used. The Digital Public Library of America has incorporated RightsStatements.org statements into their portal to function as a facet for searching because they are all machine readable and normalized. A similar metaphor is shopping through an online retailer – when we buy from online retailers what do we look for? Ideally, items with Free Shipping. This makes it easy for scholars to look for works that can be used in their publications and research.

 

Beyond traditional scholarship, normalized rights statements can also encourage creative reuse of works if people know what they can and can’t do. For example, DPLA’s annual GIF IT UP campaign, where users make images into gifs, and the #ColorOurCollections nationwide promotion by galleries, libraries, archives and museums, where end users are encouraged to reuse digital objects as coloring pages.

Gif made by Michael Carroll for GIF IT UP 2017. Drawing (Two Birds on Flowers) from the Free Library of Philadelphia.

 

Rightsstatements.org is still getting off the ground, but it promises to make the process of identifying usable works far simpler and less time-consuming for researchers, scholars, and students. Take a look at the Europeana aggregator’s eight million plus ‘free reuse’ results for an example of what’s possible via machine-readable statements. Go forth and reuse!

More resources:

Ballinger, Linda, et al. “Providing Quality Rights Metadata for Digital Collections Through RightsStatements.org.” Pennsylvania Libraries: Research & Practice, vol. 5, no. 2, 2017, pp. 144–158. http://palrap.pitt.edu/ojs/index.php/palrap/article/view/157

Fair Use Checklist: http://copyright.psu.edu/checklist/

RightsStatement.org Resources: http://rightsstatements.org/en/

PA Digital webinars:

Menand, Louis. (2014). Crooner in Rights Spat. The New Yorker. Retrieved from https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/10/20/crooner-rights-spat

Faculty Support of Open Access: An Interview with David Sarwer

No matter what discipline you are in, it is hard to ignore the major shift from traditional journal publishing to open access publishing. In honor of Open Access Week 2017, we are celebrating faculty at Temple University who support open scholarship in a variety of ways.

One of these faculty members is David Sarwer, the Associate Dean for Research, and Director of the Center for Obesity Research and Education at the College of Public Health. Sarwer is also the Editor-in-Chief of an open access journal, Obesity Science & Practice. He sat down with Biomedical & Research Services Librarian (Ginsburg Health Sciences Library) Stephanie Roth to discuss his experiences as the editor of a new open access journal.

Please tell us more about Obesity Science & Practice. How did you become involved as the Editor-in-Chief?

Obesity Science & Practice is a Wiley journal. They publish four other journals in the area of obesity and were quick to recognize that there was an increasing number of high quality papers not making the cut in those journals. When they approached me about serving as the inaugural Editor-in-Chief, I was still skeptical about publishing in open access journals. The more the Wiley team taught me about their approach, I came to believe that open access publishing was likely to play a significant role in the future of academic publishing.

What gave you confidence to believe in open access?

The early success of the journal has given all of us a great deal of confidence. We have quickly moved to publishing four issues a year. We now receive a steady stream of articles that are either direct submissions to the journal or are referred to us by other Wiley obesity journals. Many of the papers published in the journal have come from internationally recognized authorities in the field of obesity. All of these developments give me a great deal of confidence about the future of the journal and open access publishing more generally.

When you first heard about open access publishing what were your immediate thoughts?

Like everyone else, I was familiar with the old school publishing model. So, I was hesitant and skeptical. The Wiley team did a great job to make me comfortable that open access represented the path to the future.

Did you ever publish to an open access journal prior to becoming the editor of one?

No, but I wouldn’t hesitate to publish in a high quality, reputable open access journal today.

Now as an editor, what are your thoughts about open access publishing?

I am very impressed with open access compared to traditional publishing and especially by our journal. The speed at which we are able to process papers and push them out to our readers is a great strength. We have published a number of high quality, impactful papers in the field. Several of them have received mass media coverage as well, which is an important, yet often overlooked aspect of academic productivity.

What has been your experience with OA journals vs. traditional publishing?

I haven’t noticed much of a difference. Many non open access journals are now putting their papers online. That shows the potential growth and acceptability of open access in the future.

What has contributed to more authors embracing your journal?

It has helped that Wiley is well recognized for their journals. That has helped to increase our journal’s credibility. Wiley has also done a good job identifying high quality submissions that were rejected from one of their four other major obesity journals. When a paper is referred to us from one of those journals, we often use the previous reviews to inform the editorial process and decision making. This has allowed us to move papers through the review process quickly.

What are your future plans for the journal?

I would like to stay on our current path of success. We recently moved to publishing four issues a year and continue to receive a steady stream of papers. I would like to see the first impact factor be appropriately robust and to have it grow over time.

Do you provide tools for graduate students or residents to publish in your journal?

At the journal level, we aren’t doing anything specific for graduate students. We do receive a fair amount of submissions from those who may be working on their first papers and launching their own independent careers and that is also encouraging.

What tips would you give to researchers looking to publish in an OA journal?

I would like to encourage them to make sure they don’t discount them. Be thoughtful. Make sure the journal is a legitimate outlet, and not one associated with predatory publishing. Researchers should see open access as an important and central part of academic publishing in the future.

ORCID iDs @ Temple

Last year on the blog, we introduced ORCID, a non-profit organization that provides persistent, unique identifiers to researchers across the globe. ORCID iDs help ensure that researchers get credit for all their scholarly contributions.

While there are a number of different researcher identifiers out there (including ResearchID and Scopus Author ID), we recommend that all Temple researchers register for an ORCID iD. It’s free and it takes less than a minute to sign up.

There are currently 3,364,764 live ORCID iDs. Sixteen publishers, including the American Chemical Society, PLOS, and Wiley, now require that authors submit ORCID iDs at some point in the publication process. And if you think ORCID is just for scientists, you’re wrong. Cambridge University Press has begun integrating ORCID iDs into their book publishing workflows, and Taylor & Francis is currently undertaking a pilot project to integrate ORCID iDs into their humanities journals.

Researchers can use their ORCID iD profile to highlight their education, employment, publications, and grants. They can even add peer review activities. The American Geophysical Union, F1000, and IEEE are just three of the organizations that currently connect with ORCID to recognize the work of their peer reviewers.

In order to get a better sense of who is using ORCID at Temple, we looked for researchers with publicly available ORCID profiles who note “Temple University” as their current place of employment. We found 205 ORCID iDs that matched this criteria. Of those, the Lewis Katz School of Medicine has the highest number of researchers with ORCID iDs at Temple. The College of Science and Technology has the second highest number, with faculty from Physics, Chemistry, and Biology being well particularly well represented. The College of Liberal Arts has the third-highest number of ORCID iDs, thanks in large part to the Psychology department. A handful of researchers in the Fox School of Business, the College of Engineering, and the College of Education have also signed up for ORCID iDs. The overwhelming majority of researchers with ORCID iDs at Temple are faculty members. Some postdoctoral fellows have ORCID iDs, but very few graduate students do.

Because filling out one’s ORCID iD profile is optional, and profiles can also be set to private, our data is incomplete, and probably underestimates the true number of individuals at Temple with ORCID iDs. Nonetheless, it is exciting to see that researchers in almost all of Temple’s schools and colleges have signed up for ORCID iDs. We’re confident that this number will continue to grow in the future.

Temple Libraries is proud to be an institutional member of ORCID.

Fair Use Week Recap

Librarian Greg McKinney talks to a student about fair use during Fair Use Week. Photo courtesy of Steven Bell.

Last week was Fair Use Week, a five-day celebration of the fair use doctrine. Libraries across the United States and Canada held events to raise awareness about the important role fair use plays in the lives in students and scholars. Here at Temple, we organized several events.

We kicked the week off with a fair use quiz. Students who passed by the first floor of Paley Library last Monday were asked to test their knowledge of fair use by looking at four well-known court cases and deciding whether or not the use in question was fair. All students who took the quiz were entered to win a $25 Barnes & Noble gift card. In the end, 47 students took the quiz. Overall, our students did an excellent job distinguishing between fair and infringing use.

On Tuesday, we held an event for our library staff. We watched the ACRL webinar, “Using Fair Use to Preserve and Share Disappearing Government Information: A Guide for Rogue Librarians.” This webinar was particularly timely for us, as a number of our librarians are involved with the Data Refuge Project which was started at the University of Pennsylvania. Despite the webinar’s title, the librarians who are working to preserve government information are not “going rogue,” as this action clearly falls within the bounds of fair use.

On Wednesday, Resident Librarian Anastasia Chui led a workshop on copyright and fair use for undergraduates. This Jeopardy-style workshop asked participants a series of questions about different fair use situations they might encounter.

Finally, we interviewed Nikki Miller, Rights and Contracts Coordinator at Temple University Press, about “Fair Use from a Scholarly Publisher’s Perspective,” for this blog.

It was a great week and we look forward to participating again next year.

Are you interested in learning more about fair use? Check out the following resources:

Fair Use Week Evaluator Tool

Thinking Through Fair Use (University of Minnesota)

The Fair Use App

Stanford Copyright and Fair Use

Copyright for Educators

New Digital Publishing Platforms Scholars Need to Know About

Digitalbook

UPDATE: The Manifold platform has now launched.

Are you in the process of writing a book or journal article? Have you been thinking about how you might present some or all of your research digitally? Over the past ten years, university presses, libraries, and others in higher education have started building the infrastructure necessary to support the creation of high-quality, peer-reviewed digital work. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has provided the start-up funds for many of these projects. One of the first digital publishing platforms that the Mellon Foundation funded was Scalar, which was developed at the University of Southern California on behalf of the Alliance for Networking Visual Culture. Scalar is currently being used by a number of different publishers, including the University of California Press and Duke University Press, to publish both born-digital scholarship and digital companions to print monographs. Scholars can also use Scalar to self-publish their work. Recently, the Mellon Foundation has funded other exciting efforts in this area. All share a common belief that scholars and publishers need to think beyond the traditional print monograph. Here are four new projects, all currently in development, worth watching:

Vega is a digital publishing platform being developed under the direction of West Virginia University for books, journals, projects, data sets, and other scholarly output. The Vega team is particularly interested in streamlining the production and editorial process for publishers. Unlike some existing platforms (such as Open Journal Systems), Vega will be completely customizable. Look for it to launch in 2018.

Editoria is a digital-first book production platform being developed by the California Digital Library, the University of California Press and the Collaborative Knowledge Foundation. Like Vega, it is designed to simplify the publishing workflow process in order to help lower production costs. A beta version of Editoria is planned for release in late 2016/early 2017.

Fulcrum is a digital publishing platform being developed by the University of Michigan Library and Press. Fulcrum will make it easier for authors who want to link their source material to their scholarship. The resulting digital piece can be published as a supplement to a print book, or can even take the place of a print book. One of Fulcrum’s early adopters will be Lever Press, a new press run by a group of leading liberal arts colleges that plans to publish open access, digitally native scholarly monographs.

Manifold Scholarship is a digital book production platform being developed by the University of Minnesota Press and the GC Digital Scholarship Lab at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Similar to Scalar, Manifold aims to help authors create media-rich scholarship that is nonlinear and allows for reader feedback. Although the Manifold platform is not yet live, the University of Minnesota Press has begun considering potential book projects.

 

Google Books and Fair Use

GoogleBooksScanning

“Google Scanning @ AAEL” by Dave Carter is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

The big news in scholarly communication last week came from the Supreme Court, which declined to hear an appeal from the Authors Guild over Google Books. The Supreme Court’s decision puts an end to a legal battle that has been going on since 2005. This is great news for scholars, students, and the public, all of whom have come to rely on Google Books for their research. But the case is also significant because it reaffirms the doctrine of fair use. Fair use is an established part of U.S. copyright law, however, it’s not always clear what does or does not constitute fair use. Generally, courts rely on four factors to determine fair use: the purpose and character of the use, the nature of the copyrighted work, the amount and substantiality of the portion used, and the effect of the use upon the potential market for of value of the copyrighted work. The Authors Guild tried to argue that Google’s actions are not protected under fair use, because Google is a for-profit company (as opposed to an educational institution), and because Google is scanning entire books (not just parts of books). However, the courts ultimately ruled that Google has to copy books in their entirely for the project to be useful. In addition, they ruled that Google’s use of the texts is transformative (another key indicator for fair use).

Google’s book scanning project began back in 2004. The company partnered with several major libraries, including Stanford University, the University of Michigan, the University of California, Harvard, Oxford University, Columbia University, Princeton University, and the New York Public Library. The libraries selected books from their collections (focusing primarily on books published before 1923), and then Google did the digitization work for free. Google did not ask permission from any authors before they started scanning the library books. In order to obtain new and recently published books, Google also signed contracts with publishers which allowed them to scan and show parts of in-copyright books. All books (whether from libraries or publishers) are made available through Google’s search engine, which enables users to look for a particular word or phrase across texts. For most books that are still under copyright, however, users can only see a “snippet” of text based on their search term.

In 2005, a group of publishers, along with the Authors Guild and several individual authors, sued Google for copyright infringement. Both publishers and authors worried that they would not be properly compensated for the use of their content. They also worried that hackers would be able to get digital copies of the books and share them widely. In the years that followed, these groups tried to work out a compromise with Google. But in 2011, a federal judge rejected a proposed settlement. Then, in 2013, a district court ruled that Google’s treatment of the books was transformative and that its actions constituted fair use. The Authors Guild then appealed this decision. In 2015, a Second Circuit Court of Appeals agreed that Google Books was legal. The appeal to the Supreme Court was the Authors Guild’s last chance.

According to one source, Google has now scanned around 30 million volumes. In addition, they currently have over 40 Library Partners. Although the scans are not always perfect, Google Books remains a rich, free resource for people around the world. It is just another example of why fair use is so important.

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All About ORCID

Orcid

One of the problems many researchers face is that they have the same name as another scholar working in a similar field. In addition, a researcher’s name might change over the course of their career, or they may use different variations of their name (such as a nickname or middle initial) depending on where they publish. So, given these challenges, how can you make sure that you are being properly recognized for all of your scholarship?

Launched in 2012, ORCID (“Open Researcher and Contributor ID”) is a global non-profit organization the provides researchers with free unique persistent identifiers (basically, 16-digit numbers). These identifiers are stored in a central registry, so that others can find you and your work. While there are a number of different types of author identifiers out there, including ResearchID (from Web of Science) and SCOPUS Author ID, ORCID is quickly becoming the standard, in large part because it is not tied to a particular publisher or platform. Instead, ORCID is an open, community-driven organization. To date, over two million researchers have registered for ORCID identifiers.

More and more journals, publishers, and funding agencies are collecting ORCID identifiers from researchers. In fact, in a recent letter, several major journals and publishers, including The Royal Society, PLOS, and Science, explained that they will now require all researchers who publish with them to have an ORCID identifier.

Creating an ORCID identifier is easy: simply use your e-mail address to register, then add as much or as little information as you want. Adding your scholarship is a good first step. You can add work manually, import your citations from a BibTeX (.bib) file, or search ORCID’s many data sources to find and link your work. One of the great things about ORCID is that it supports 37 different kinds of scholarly output, including books and articles, but also inventions, conference posters, data sets, and even artistic performances. You don’t have to be a scientist to use and benefit from ORCID. Your profile can also include information about your education, funding, and employment history. Although profiles are public, you control who can see what in your profile. You have three choices: make your information publicly available, share it with trusted sources (such as your library), or keep it private. It’s up to you. Once you have an ORCID identifier, you can use it when submitting journal articles and grant applications. You can also display your identifier on your personal or departmental website. You can even buy custom ORCID mugs and stickers!

It is important to note that ORCID does not try to verify the information researchers provide. Basically, they depend on researchers to be honest about their scholarship.

Have you signed up for an ORCID identifier? How do you use it?