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Posts Tagged ‘signatures’

Digital signatures and document supply – investigation continues

Posted by gazjjohnson on 19 January, 2010

Following on from this earlier post, I’ve had a couple of very useful interchanges with Anne Bell (Cardiff) and Graham Titley (Portsmouth) on this subject.  I was pointed in their direction and some other folks by quite a few of my followers on twitter – so thanks Mairie, Georgeina, Sarah, Damyanti and all the rest.  I’m waiting on a few other people I’ve contacted, not to mention those on a distribution list, to come back to me as well. 

hopefully this should give me a broad idea of the state of the art in the UK right now.  I’m editing together everything I’ve learned so far into a review document, distilling the experiences I encounter and raising the questions that we need to answer for ourselves before we can move in this direction for definite.  But since others have already gone down this path I’m hoping the only challenges we face are operational and technical, and not legal.

We’ll be having a meeting next week at which we’ll be discussing the initial thoughts and next steps, and at which point doubtless I’ll have more to report back on.

[Edit Tue evening: Thanks to Peter Suber for pointing out that Charle’s site has now evolved in to the Bibliography of Open Access Wiki.  The old site still contains some bookend material but is now static.]

Posted in Document Supply | Tagged: , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Digital signatures and document supply – an investigation

Posted by gazjjohnson on 13 January, 2010

Like most universities we operate a document supply service.  For articles from journals we’re required by copyright law to collect a signed form for each and every request from our customers; in our case a print off of a webpage.  This isn’t an ideal situation since it means there’s generally a day between a request being placed and the signed form reaching my team – at which point we can place the request with the British Library.

So we’d like to explore moving to use digital signatures in some way.  I’ve started making some initial enquiries with some contacts around the country, but thought it was probably worth blogging about it too.  I suppose my questions at the moment are:

  • What is the validity of digital signatures under law?
  • Are there any kinds/types of digital signatures that aren’t acceptable?
  • What is the best/most effective approach to take?
  • What are the potential pitfalls and challenges (technological or otherwise?)
  • How was it finally implemented/introduced to the community – for everyone or just those who wished it?

I know Cardiff and Plymouth at least are certainly at various stages of implementing this and so I’ve dropped a line to both of them; but whom else is heading down this path and what wisdom can they share?

Posted in Document Supply | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »