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Archive for the ‘Copyright & Course Packs’ Category

Copyright Masterclass

Posted by taniarowlett on 6 March, 2012

Aslib’s first ‘Copyright Masterclass’  took place last week with Naomi Korn at the helm.  We started with a brain storm on what we actually knew about IPR (which was a bit mean at 10.15 in the morning and considering we pretty much only knew about copyright).  Anyway, the general consensus was that it  covered a broad range of areas and could be extremely complex, with some parts of the ‘family’ needing to be registered (e.g.patents, trademarks), others not (e.g.copyright), and still others could be registered or unregistered.

Highlights of the day included Naomi:

  • Using a great analogy for IPR – you can essentially do the same things with them as you can with a property: buy, sell, rent (licence) and bequeath.  I shall be incorporating that into my next training session.
  • Introducing me to the term bona vacantia.  This where you have no idea who owns the rights to a work or item (e.g. if someone died intestate or with no known next of kin, or the item is an asset of a dissolved company).  The Treasury Solicitor handles the administration for such things, and will try to trace any living blood relatives of the deceased or handle the sale of a company’s assets.
  • Explaining that none of us present (a mix of people from museums, HE institutions and private firms) are either purely commercial or non-commercial, we are mostly going to be a mixture of both (ie. Commercial firms will run internal or free of charge training sessions, non-commercial activities such as teaching could be deemed commercial if students pay fees).
  • Providing an overview of the Hargreaves recommendations and the progress and timelines of the IPO consultation.  Potentially we could have draft legislation by Autumn 2012.
  • Giving an update on the DEA and how it could potentially affect Universities if we are classed as service providers, although responses to OFCOMs consultation have called for them to provide a category for ‘Non-qualifying ISPs’ under which Universities could fall. 

One other particular area of interest to me, due to my work on the Manufacturing Pasts project, was that of orphan works.  Apparently such works are estimated to constitute 50% items held in archives, and over 50 million of them exist in the UKs Public Sector alone.  I recently carried out my own analysis of the the Special Collections works we wish to digitize in our project, and estimated that approximately 60% of them are orphan works.

We also talked about the benefits and detrimental effects of contract overriding copyright law in the UK and how we handled the multitude of differences between each contract, along with recent cases (NLA v Meltwater and the Red Bus (not its real name but this seems to be what everyone knows it as)) and an overview of Creative Commons and its licenses.

 I should at this point finish by a. saying if you get the chance, go on this course, it is extremely interesting and helpful, and b. giving a plug both to JISCs IPR toolkit, which for anyone starting out in copyright will be of huge benefit as it includes model permissions templates and contract/license clauses, along with JISCs new OER IPR short video: Turning a Resource into an Open Educational Resource , which is exactly what it says on the tin.

Just one more thing, ASLIB currently run four communities of practice (COP): Business Information; Engineering and Technology; Education; and Translation and Technology, which they are keen for people to engage with.  So go on, have a look and see if you can get involved.

Posted in Copyright & Course Packs, Projects, Training, Web 2.0 & Emerging Technologies | Leave a Comment »

Heron User Group Meeting

Posted by taniarowlett on 15 December, 2011

I recently attended, along with my colleague Rob, the 25th Heron User Group Meeting at King’s College London.

The programme sat well with me as I am currently dividing my time between my usual Copyright Administrator activities and managing a JISC funded digitisation and OER project ‘Manufacturing Pasts’.

The presentations from Jane Secker (LSE), Donya Rowan (Derby) and June Hedges (UCL) about their recent OER projects activities and findings were therefore very interesting, and in many ways they encountered the same 3rd party © issues as I did as IPR Administrator for the Phase 1 OTTER project.  In speaking about her work on the OSTRICH project, I was pleased to hear Donya mention OTTER, and see that she found my ‘Copyright and OERs: Do’s and Don’ts’ factsheet useful when assessing/clearing material.  It was good to see Derby’s adaptation of OTTER CORRE process model too.

In was very pleasantly surprised to hear June talking her success in empowering contributors to risk assess their own materials before their release as OERs.  By asking them to list content they weren’t sure about, and discard anything that wasn’t integral to their materials, the outcome was a minimal amount of 3rd party © requiring clearance.  Whilst this was music to my ears I’m not sure whether it’s possible to roll this approach out institution wide.  As Copyright Administrator part of my role is to educate module writers about the legalities of including 3rd party material, and alternative sources of © cleared materials, but the one thing I can’t do is give them more time to stop and check their materials.

Following on from this the CLA very bravely stepped up to answer questions from the floor.  Sarah Brear confirmed that the CLA hoped to have a new licence agreed for the next academic year, and confirmed that the USA lookup tool was still in it early stages, but the intention was to roll it out to other territories once it was up and working properly.  There was also a request for the CLA to release anonymised photocopying data, which Sarah promised to look into.

During the afternoon George gave a presentation on Heron’s Packtracker software, which we started using earlier this year.  Although we knew the basics, it was very helpful to see some of the areas we don’t currently use fleshed out, so both Rob and I picked up a number of potential ways to streamline our processes, which we hope to put into practice shortly!

Posted in Copyright & Course Packs, Document Supply, Open Access, Service Delivery, Web 2.0 & Emerging Technologies | Leave a Comment »

Social media and networking – my friend or my foe?

Posted by gazjjohnson on 1 December, 2011

Yesterday, while some folks were otherwise engaged, I was teaching the first version of our new staff development course Social Media Friend or Foe?: Navigating the Legal Minefield Successfully.  As regular readers will remember I flagged up a few months back that myself and Tania Rowlett the Copyright Administrator had been asked by the Staff Development Office to run this course.  At first we thought this might be a simple amplification of some elements from our popular Copyright for Academic Modules session, but it rapidly became clear that this wasn’t going to work.

It does rather seem that over the past three weeks I’ve done little else other than eat, sleep and breathe Web 2.0 copyright (although strangely my diary seems to indicate I’ve done a heck of lot of other things as well).  My especial thanks to Tania who has had to put up with me constantly appearing at her desk to help me clarify a point and provide a lot of guidance into the structure and content of the course.  I can say that it has been a challenging but deeply interesting exercise, trying to distill down the wisdom of others into a bite sized course.  I did slightly jokingly suggest to Tania that each of our slides could last an hour if we really got into the details – but as our intention was to really flag up the various risks, and ways around them that wasn’t likely to be a working format.

In the end the session and the slightly-longer-than-I-intended-booklet did come together well enough for a furst run through.  I’m hopeful that we’ll be able to offer this session again in the new year with a few more delegates, as from the feedback those in attendance found it well worth their while.  I can exclusively reveal that I’ve already sketched out a number of revisions to the 2.0 version of the session, more interaction, more case study elements and hopefully even more quality content.  Although that’s going to push the session length up to a good 3hrs (the v1.0 was 2hrs and felt a bit rushed at times as a result).

As normal we’ve made the materials for the session available on the Copyright webpages for consultation, and continue to welcome feedback and comments from anyone working with or in the social media/networking field.

Posted in Copyright & Course Packs, Web 2.0 & Emerging Technologies | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Copyright and reusing objects in the social world

Posted by gazjjohnson on 5 October, 2011

Myself and my trusty Copyright specialist Tania have been tagged to run a course in late November looking at the copyright implications of using social media.  Entitled “Social Media – friend or foe: Navigating the legal minefield successfully” it follows on from a segment we included in last year’s Copyright for Academics workshops we delivered through staff development.  While I think it’s an exciting and timely topic to address, it’s a bit daunting to try and pull the right guidance together.

In many respects personally I don’t want to stifle the use of and reuse of material in the social online world; but obviously we want to make people aware of the risks and especially how they can mollify them.  I’m already reaching out to a few local experts to pick their brains on sources, references and generally for suggestions for content; but obviously I’d welcome further discussions with any one on this topic.

While I suspect our probable overall line will be along the lines of “Know the risks, and play carefully” it would be nice to make the content a bit richer than that.  Given that we’ve got two hours to fill.

Posted in Copyright & Course Packs | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Creative Commons and Open Access Repositories

Posted by gazjjohnson on 22 March, 2011

I had an email conversation with Gabi and Terese in our BDRA Dept yesterday, as a result of their recent blog post Opening the ‘doar’ to Open Research Archives.  Their question was “I assume the LRA policies don’t preclude a depositing author from allocating a Creative Commons licence to the article

An interesting question, and while Gabi and Terese are perhaps more interested in OER’s than IRRs it was something that the Copyright Administrator and I discussed for a few minutes.  As a repository manager I have a slightly different viewpoint on the copyright situation to my colleague, given that open access as a whole operates in a somewhat gray and uncertain rights environment (my team endeavour to make it as risk free and safe as we possibly can though!)

There are a very few items on the LRA, a thesis springs to mind as the only absolutely clear example we’ve had to date, where the depositor has expressly requested a CC license on the item. Now with a thesis this is a little more clear-cut as the text remains the IPR/(c) of the author.  On the other hand for the post-review/author’s final copy of a book chapter or article while the general understanding is that the IPR is retained by the author, I’d personally be a little more reticent to deposit into the LRA with a CC license appended as a matter of course.

Not that I wouldn’t consider it at all, but it would probably be something I’d need to talk over with the author and potentially the publishing body as well to make sure that all appropriate rights had been observed.  Not to mention picking the brains of my fellow UKCoRR members to see if any of them have any clearer views on the subject.

Conference papers are a little easier as my current understanding  suggests that unless the organising body explicitly gains the economic rights for publishing (e.g. you actually sign something that gifts the rights to the organising body or a publisher) that all rights remain with the author.  In which case they’d be quite able to place an appropriate CC license on their work in my personal opinion – although we’d still take it slow for the first few of them that come along!

So the short answer is: No our policies don’t preclude CC, but we’d need to consider any requests carefully.

Happy to hear what my repository manager colleagues across the country have to say on the subject!

Posted in Copyright & Course Packs, Leicester Research Archive, Open Access | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

PackTracker – the future for CLA returns?

Posted by gazjjohnson on 4 February, 2011

Yesterday (Thursday) we had a demonstration of the Packtracker software from HERON.  We’re not members of HERON currently, but one thing we do do is a lot of digitisation of materials for online course packs (well over 2,500 items last academic year alone).  While most of this is under the CLA Digitisation Licenses, not all of it is and for much of it my Copyright & Coursepacks administrator does have to go back to the publishers or other rights holders directly for permission.

It’s a time-consuming task, not simply in the creation of the scans though that is a factor.  It’s time-consuming because we need to keep extensive records and documentation of everything scanned, whom it is for, number of students etc.  Now we’re not doing this simply for the good of our own health, oh no, we’re required to do it by the terms of the license.  We have to make an annual report back to the CLA on items used and all the myriad of details they need so that publishers can be paid the appropriate remuneration as agreed under the license.  It’s a task that certainly generates an awful lot of administrative burden, and as demand for this kind of provision increases (and it is continuing to increase across all our colleges) then two does the admin time.

Now to date we’ve kept very meticulous records on Excel.  It’s not ideal, but it is functional after a fashion.  What it isn’t is scalable really to the level at which we’re now operating.  We’d considered developing an inhouse access database, but without any available staff-time to do this that’s an idea that’s rather fallen by the wayside.  Then last year we started looking at the PackTracker software which by all accounts does all the record keeping and generation of returns to the CLA automatically.  Having seen it live over in Sheffield, we decided it would be best to have an in house demonstration.

PackTracker isn’t installed locally, it runs on a dedicated webserver space maintained by HERON.  It can take our Excel spreadsheets, and with a little bit of work, populate a dataset automatically which was very good news.  Certainly it can do all the things we were hoping it would, but what was my biggest surprise was what it can do over and above the simple records keeping mandate.  It can diarise a lot of activity, sending you warnings when tasks need to be completed and perhaps even more exultingly tie into service standards to make sure items are actioned within our predefined requirements (5 working days normally).  It can generate customisable coversheets for scanned PDFs, something that is an entirely manually driven process right now.  It can even send off requests to the British Library for copyright cleared materials.

I also quite liked opening up the records to other registered users, like our Information Librarians – allowing them to check directly what items were requested for modules in departments they support, and their current status.  This is something we currently have to check ourselves, so labyrinthine are our records to the untrained user!  I was also quite keen on the way it pulled down data from Amazon in part for copyright checking but also to enssure that bibliographic information was right as well.

Personally, I think it’s a good-looking products, and while I have a few niggles about certain aspects it’s something I certainly feel fairly favourable towards right now.  I’m not aware of any competing product out there, which perhaps explains the subscription cost for the system.  In any event my next step is to draft a more detailed evaluation report to go to our senior management team for their illumination and hopeful discussion.

Posted in Copyright & Course Packs | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Legal Issues in Web 2.0 and cloud computing

Posted by taniarowlett on 29 November, 2010

Last week I had the pleasure of attending the above named UKeiG course.    The day consisted of a full  programme jam packed with useful information, knowledge and anecdotes, all provided by Professor Charles Oppenheim in his usual engaging manner.

The morning focussed on IPR issues, both in relation to the ‘rights holder(s)’ of user generated content produced via Web 2.0 applications, but also the incorporation into such content of different types of 3rd party material, which of course is a completely separate but equally important issue. 

Charles helpfully directed us to the Web2Rights materials, which I have found useful in the past for their flowcharts and diagnostic tools, and tested us with a number of scenarios.  As I and my fellow participants were from a wide range of copyright/IPR/Web 2.0 technology backgrounds it we interesting to see that we were all fairly consistent with our responses/approaches to the issues raised. 

The most interesting sessions of the day for me were those covering the issues of defamation and data protection.  The increasing adoption of Web 2.0 technologies as part of educational engagement means content generators need to be aware of UK defamation law, and what can constitute libel, even if said in jest.  

Whilst many of us know the basics of the Data Protection Act (DPA), it might come as a surprise to those who have embraced cloud computing that personal data such as that covered by the act should not be moved outside the EEA, unless the recipient country has an ‘adequate’ level of protection themselves, and that data held in a ‘cloud’ is often moved around the world, albeit temporarily, to maximise system efficiency. 

It was a day that provided much food for thought, and I think it would be very easy to get weighed down in the detail and the intricacies of the Acts. However, in the first instance I think I shall just draw up some guidelines to include in my training materials!

Posted in Copyright & Course Packs, Digital Strategy & Website, Service Delivery, Staff training, Web 2.0 & Emerging Technologies | 1 Comment »

Current issues in intellectual property rights and knowledge transfer

Posted by benwynne2 on 25 October, 2010

I attended a one day workshop on intellectual property rights (IPR) and knowledge transfer organised by the UK Council for Graduate Education on 22nd October.

The topic of intellectual property rights and knowledge transfer is, of course, vast. The particular focus of the workshop was the influence which these rights have on the management of the research process and the dissemination of research results by research students – illustrated by a number of practical examples.

Electronic theses
The workshop began with an overview of the British Library’s electronic theses service – EThOS – from Joanna Newman who is Head of Higher Education at the British Library. EThOS enables anyone to track down the details of over 250,000 UK university theses and to access individual theses electronically where available – or to order a digitised copy. The service has seen a huge increase in use since it was launched (in beta) in January 2009. In fact, such was the increase in use that for a period the British Library struggled to meet requests for digitisation of theses. This fact alone illustrates the potential which Web delivery has to increase access to UK theses which were previously difficult to trace and obtainable only on microfilm from the British Library or on paper from the awarding institution’s library.

Joanna Newman stressed the major cultural shift which the increased visibility and accessibility of UK theses represents. Greater access brings great benefits in disseminating research results but it also requires greater understanding of intellectual property rights (and respecting those rights) – those of the student writing the thesis, those owning rights in any ‘third party’ materials included and those who may have funded or contributed to the research.

These are all issues which will be very familiar to colleagues at the University of Leicester. General discussion stressed the importance of teaching students about the IPR implications of their work – from as early on as possible so that these implications can be planned and accounted for. Just the sort of thing which we try to address in our Dealing with copyright for your e-thesis workshops.

A recent BL survey found that 80% of UK universities have moved – or plan to move – to including a requirement for electronic submission of theses as part of their thesis submission procedures.

So, in only a few years, ‘electronic theses’ have gone from being very much the exception to becoming almost mainstream.

This transition has sometimes required universities to review their intellectual property policies – policies which have also often required review in the context of knowledge transfer and growing links with industry as the next presentation from Sarah Boulton of the Research and Enterprise Directorate at the University of Plymouth illustrated.

Issues arising when generating IP through PG research students and post-docs
Sarah Boulton’s presentation covered almost every aspect of IPR in overview – illustrating the many issues which can arise when managing IPR created by research students. Copyright, of course, but also patents, database right, design right and trade marks.

There was a lively discussion about who owns the IPR created by a research student. The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act is clear on this point – but the position can be altered by contract as so often where IPR is concerned.

The default under the Act is that the student owns the rights in her/his own work (in the case of an employee, the default is that the employer owns the rights). There are exceptions, of course – where research is sponsored/paid for by a company and a requirement of this sponsorship is the company owns the rights or that they are shared in some way.

Some noted instances of universities requiring students to assign their rights to the university as part of the student registration process. Approaches vary with some dubious about the validity and acceptability of requiring blanket assigning of rights in this way.

Sarah Boulton’s presentation was followed by case studies of how IPR had been handled (or mishandled) as part of research studentships. The missing element in each case study was a clear written agreement between all the parties concerned on who would own IPR arising from the research before the research began (all the case studies included a commercial sponsor of some kind).

These case studies illustrated once again what an influence contract law has on the practical exercise and management of IPR.

The workshop concluded with what I found the most useful part of the day – a presentation from a former PhD student in Chemistry at the University of Reading who had combined a Knowledge Transfer Partnership placement with doing his PhD. This enabled him to work for a university business park company for two years on work directly related to his PhD – and then complete his PhD in the third year (although securing the funding for this could have become an issue). He had since returned to the compay as a full time employee.

This arrangement had included an explicit written agreement between the University and the company about how the IPR arising would be managed (and it led to a patent).

The agreement did give rise to some restrictions for the student; he had to be careful about what he presented at conferences and access to his thesis was embargoed for five years.

This illustrated the delicate balance that so often needs to be struck between the required academic outcomes from a PhD and its business/future professional value to the student and others.

I know that many if not all of the issues I have outlined here will be very familiar to colleagues.

However, the workshop did strongly illustrate for me how the digital environment has placed effective management and understanding of IPR in the research process centre stage. There is nothing new about IPR but now the issues to which it can give rise need to be addressed at a very early stage before research begins and then actively managed. And many university staff need to engage with and understand these issues – with academics, Graduate Office, library and research/enterprise office people all represented at the workshop.

Update 12 Nov 2010: Some presentations from this workshop are now available at

Posted in Copyright & Course Packs, Leicester Research Archive, Research Support | Leave a Comment »

IPR Workshop

Posted by taniarowlett on 4 October, 2010

Last week I attended the Strategic Content Alliance (SCA) IPR workshop hosted by JISC.  The event was run exceptionally well by Naomi Korn and Sarah Fahmy and included overviews of the current progress of the Gowers review, the mounting case law surrounding the issue of privacy vs public interest and the remaining uncertainties relating to the future impact of the Digital Economy Bill. 

There was a great deal of discussion within the group throughout the day, but three main themes emerged:

  • the increasing emphasis on developing a business model to generate income from the rights we hold, whilst continuing to participate in the open access movement.  How can we best generate commercial income but still make our works open access?
  • the clear need for legislation on the use of orphan works.  Currently the decision to digitise and/or use works where there is no clear and contactable rights holder is determined by the level of risk associated with their use, and the decisions vary widely from person to person and institution to institution
  • the weighing up of benefit vs the cost of clearing obscure works.  Naomi made a good point in saying that the more obscure an item, the more cultural and educational interest it may hold.  However, for those of us involved in trying to clear rights for any use of these items it can be extremely time consuming, for perhaps little perceived gain.

With Universities and public bodies finding themselves having to justify their use of public funds, the question is whether we should be pursuing activities which provide us with maximum ‘internal’ educational use; making more of our creative output available to public; or be trying to use the unique resources we hold (specialised archive material, high profile academic research) to generate alternative forms of funding, and which is the most cost-effective?

Posted in Copyright & Course Packs | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Is copyright a help or a hindrance to UK research?

Posted by gazjjohnson on 30 July, 2010

Well I know one answer to that in recent months from Peter Murry-Rust, but today I’m reading a new report out from the British Library entitled “Driving UK Research: Is copyright a help or a hinderance“.  Interesting even before you open the 20 page report you’ll spot a disclaimer on the cover – that opinions inside are not necessarily those of the BL, which is rather odd given their corporate logo is slap bang on the top left.  What the report does aim to bring are the view points of various researchers across the scholarly UK community.  

The authors of the essays are listed within, and I must confess having never heard of any of them; which is perhaps less of a surprise given they have spoken to academics across the sector; rather than those working in the realms of copyright.  There is a superb pull quote from Lynne Brindley (CEO British Library) right at the start. 

There is a supreme irony that just as technology is allowing greater access to books and other creative works than ever before for education and research, new restrictions threaten to lock away digital content in a way we would never countenance for printed material. 

The essays are in essence case studies into the frustrations and triumphs, the needs and the opportunities, the barriers and the workarounds used today by academic researchers.  An interesting contrast given in some is that of the fair dealing defence as it pertains more liberally to US academic institutions in contrast to our own, which is a surprise.  Given what I had seen of US (c) related law, I suspected that our North American cousins were more restrictive than the UK; yet on the whole they seem to be more permissive. 

I was interested to note the experiences of some academics seeking to clear materials for inclusion in scholarly monographs, being frustrated by tracking down rights holders.  This is a conversation I’ve had more than once with researchers here at Leicester, not to mention within the course of my team’s copyright work as well. 

From the other perspective one good example of the restrictions of copyright on research is given in relation to music research and the consideration that European Commission is seeking to lengthen rather than relax the copyright restrictions on sound recordings from 50 years to 95.  While arguably academics could find workarounds under fair use, the concern is that the greater body of the public will be locked away from historical recordings as effectively as they are from recent commercial releases. 

Another study highlights the risks in creating a simple series PowerPoint slides incorporating images, films or sound recordings etc.  That each academic needs to be at least conversant with the basics of copyright is a given, but it seems today that there is a requirement for their expertise to go much further.  While here in the library we can offer support and advice (and some of my most challenging and fulfilling conversations with academics in the last year have been in this realm) there are only so many hours in the day. 

Throughout the report there is a sense of frustration in the restrictions blocking the research of the individuals in some ways – and in many respects the commercialisation of the rights for deceased authors falling into the hands of commercial entities seems to be a particular challenge to some researchers.  Again having experienced the length of time and often considerable sums expected to license the rights of scholarly object for scholarly purposes (like BlackBoard) I found myself nodding in agreement. 

The role that advances in technology have is mentioned in more than one places.  I’ve oft-repeated the saying I heard years ago w.r.t. “Leaps in technology, lumbering legislation”, and it seems the more routes and ways that are available to access information for researchers, and the more (c) restricts them, the greater their frustration and the likelihood that they will simply ignore it and use it anyway.  While personally I’ve strong sympathies, with my work hat on this is something that is going to cause difficulties in the future for the sector as a whole.  Just takes one litigious publisher to decide enough is enough, and suddenly we’re in the middle of a shooting war.  Legally that is. 

The executive summary neatly identifies four key areas of commonality, which in brief are 

  • Calls for an extension to fair dealing provisions under UK copyright law to bring them into line with fair use doctrine in the US.
  • Allowing the use of orphan works.
  • Enforcing creators’ moral rights in order to preserve future creativity
  • addressing the issue of text mining and data indexing in the context
    of the barriers posed by the existing copyright regime.

Are the findings eye-opening?  Yes to a degree, but from conversations and experiences in recent years I can’t say that I’m surprised.  One only has to look to the open access movement to see what happens when academics rebel on mass over restrictive rights issues.  This report is therefore a must read by anyone working in copyright in the HE or FE sector today, especially in the support services!

(with many thanks to Graham Cornish for bring the report to my attention, credit where it’s due after all!)

Posted in Copyright & Course Packs, Research Support | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Where next for resource licensing?

Posted by taniarowlett on 24 June, 2010

Last week I attended a JIBSEduserve seminar entitled ‘Where next for resource licensing?’.  Owen Stephens keynote discussion focussed on the increasing use of mobile technology by library users and how we should be meeting these changes in access.  He suggested that we needed to get smarter in the type of support offered for these users, and that e-journal licences needed to make provisions for off line access, such as re-formatting/re-packaging for e-books.  He ended with what to me came to be the theme of the day, walk-in users and how many found the term a confusing concept.

Following this Louise Cole gave us an excellent overview of the ‘thorny issues’ experienced by librarians attempting to decipher e-journal licences and terminology, and proposed her definitions of what the terms partnerships, alumni, walk in users and distance learners might mean, but stressed that interpretations may differ between licensors and licencees. 

Jenny Carroll relayed the results of her survey of Eduserve Data Contacts which suggested that Universities were interested in extending their e-journal licences – and therefore access – to partners, alumni and local businesses and communities, there was uncertainty about how they could implement this and what costs would be involved.

After lunch Matt Durant gave us a positive insight into the implementation and workings of OpenAthens LA 2.0 at Bath Spa University, followed by Mark Bide from EDItEUR talking about machine readable licences.  I found this area of particular interest because it could have a huge impact on those such as I who handle copyright for University staff and students.  The idea is that their ONIX-PL (ONIX for Publications Licences) would allow users to click on a button and receive clear and concise information as to what they could and couldn’t do with the journal article they were viewing.  This would certainly help answer many users queries of this nature, as well as enable course pack and digitisation list checking to be simplified and streamlined.

The final session of the day by Martyn Jansen from Eduserv was also extremely interesting and it was great to hear from someone who works with the writing and implementation of e-journal licences on a daily basis.  Eduserv had undertaken a review of their Chest licence to ensure it was fit for purpose and proposed a number of additional clauses, a prototype version of which was sent to contract/legal contacts of their 23 journal suppliers.  The results were somewhat skewed by no response having been received from 13 publishers, but Martyn was hopeful that Eduserve could negotiate with suppliers to refine the licence so that it meets both the University librarians needs as well as the concerns of the publishers. 

It was an event that was well worth attending and brought JIBs to my attention.  I shall look out for further events in the area of e-journals and their licensing.

Posted in Copyright & Course Packs, Document Supply, Service Delivery | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Google Books & Libraries

Posted by gazjjohnson on 18 May, 2010

In the last couple of weeks Google Books has been something that’s been on the lips of myself and some of my colleagues. A confession, until last week I’d read a fair number of articles about it, but hadn’t actually pointed my browser towards it at all. No particular reason for not doing that, save for the face that I’d had no particular reason for doing that either. However, at first glance it is a very interesting site for the public and students alike that raise’s a few questions over how we, in the library, could/should be using it. And so like all good managers, I deputised one of my staff to find out more about it – and so my thanks to my Copyright Officer Tania Rowlett for the following notes.

US, UK & Downunder
It appears that Google books reached an agreement with the Association of American Publishers and the Authors Guild concerning the digitisation of their books, which essentially said the following in relation to books published in the US, UK, Canada and Australia:

  • In-copyright books could be previewed and purchased (unless the author/publisher ‘turned off’ the title) within the realms of fair use (a limited amount similar to our 5%/ chapter)
  • Out of copyright books will continue to be readable, downloadable and printable (which may be why it is more useful for Museum Studies/Archaeology/History documents)

HOWEVER, they also state that “Because this agreement resolves a United States lawsuit, it directly affects only those users who access Book Search in the U.S.; anywhere else, the Book Search experience won’t change. Going forward, we hope to work with international industry groups and individual rights holders to expand the benefits of this agreement to users around the world.”.

So, people accessing Google books from the US may be able to access more content than we [in the UK] can, but this should still only be within the above fair limits, which is supported by their statement: “whenever you can see more than a few snippets of an in-copyright book in Google Books, it’s because the author or publisher has joined our Partner Program and granted us permission to show you the Sample Pages View, which helps you learn enough about a book to know whether you want to buy it. This is something we do with a publisher’s explicit permission.

In addition, Google books have not reached a settlement/agreement with other countries, and certainly France and Germany appear to be unhappy about the project, so books from other countries ‘may’ be available but may not remain so. Having said that, if an item is accessible, then it is likely to be so for the foreseeable future (I’ll keep everyone posted on developments), and might be a useful addition to the search process.

Information Librarian Support
What has been notable is when we look at some of the books on reading lists here at Leicester, certainly not all the books are available.  In addition even for those that are on Google Books there are sections and chapters that are missing.  Some of the books are even ones that we may well have access to in print or electronically by other sources too.  What it means for my team is something we will need to discuss in-house – should we for example start to check Google Books more as a resource for satisfying our DL and DS requests, or not?  There are a number of advantages certainly to the students (speed of resolution of requests for one) but how stable are the resources on there?  How frequently do they change?  And what steps are other higher education libraries taking towards embracing this swelling collection of accessible texts?

I might also add that there is also an information literacy component here, in that the students may need user and awareness training if they are to take to using Google Books as one of their regular resources.  Which again raises the question over the reliability of access.  It doesn’t look like it’s going away anytime soon, and so once again we may need to adapt to this new information frontier.

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