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UC Office of Scholarly Communication and UC Libraries Statement on Commitment to Free and Open Information, Scholarship, and Knowledge Exchange

The University of California Office of Scholarly Communication (OSC) and the University of California Libraries issue the following statement in response to recent actions by the new federal administration and in order to address resulting concerns about continued open access to and preservation of information, scholarship, and knowledge.

The unfettered exchange and careful preservation of information are fundamental to democracy, progress, and intellectual freedom. The critical research and scholarship conducted by government entities and academic institutions worldwide safeguard and support human rights, public health, the environment, artistic and literary enterprise, scientific and technological innovation, and much more. This scholarship is critical for informed discourse and policy development throughout society. As such, the fruits of governmental and scholarly research—the data and documentation generated and released—must remain publicly available and must not be suppressed, endangered, or altered to serve political ends. (more…)

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Rocking Out to Fair Use

Is using someone else’s copyrighted work always unlawful? Absolutely not. There are many circumstances where reproducing someone else’s copyrighted work is fair – more specifically, “fair use.” Examples of fair use include providing commentary, news reporting, academic research and scholarship, and even search engine interaction with copyrighted content.

Academic libraries across the United States and Canada are celebrating Fair Use/Fair Dealing Week 2017 this third full week of February. How will you be taking part in the celebration?

We at UCLA Library will be literally rocking out to a fair use performance of video game music as we close out our week of programs educating our community about the critically important role of fair use. Read on to learn more about fair use and how we have worked to plan these Fair Use Week events. (more…)

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My Dissertation Is Online! Wait – My Dissertation Is Online!? Copyright & Your Magnum Opus

You’ve worked painstakingly for years (we won’t let on how many) on your magnum opus: your dissertation—the scholarly key to completing your graduate degree, securing a possible first book deal, and making inroads toward faculty status somewhere. Then, as you are about to submit your pièce de résistance through ProQuest’s online administration system, you are confronted with the realization that—for students at many institutions—your dissertation is about to be made available open access online to readers all over the world (hurrah! and gulp).

Because your dissertation will be openly available online, there are many questions you need to address—both about what you put in your dissertation, and the choices you’ll need to make as you put it online. If you are a first-time author, facing these concerns can be daunting to say the least. And you definitely don’t want to be thinking about them for the first time when you are scrambling to submit your dissertation to ProQuest. (more…)

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Does the UC Open Access Policy miss the mark? Depends on which mark.

Institutional open access policies often get a bad rap. Critics point to their lack of “teeth”; their poor compliance rates; their failure, thus far, to effect substantial change within the economically unsustainable and locked down scholarly publishing environment. Motivated by the desire to free all scholarship from publisher access restrictions and the equally ambitious goal of empowering all authors to retain rights to their scholarly publications, these policies struggle mightily under the weight of expectations.

But maybe we are expecting too much — or not enough.

(more…)

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CC BY and data: Not always a good fit.

Last week I wrote about data ownership, and how focusing on “ownership” might drive you nuts without actually answering important questions about what can be done with data. In that context, I mentioned a couple of times that you (or your funder) might want data to be shared under CC0, but I didn’t clarify what CC0 actually means. This week, I’m back to dig into the topic of Creative Commons (CC) licenses and public domain tools — and how they work with data. (more…)

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Who “owns” your data?

Which of these is true?

“The PI owns the data.”

“The university owns the data.”

“Nobody can own it; data isn’t copyrightable.”

You’ve probably heard somebody say at least one of these things — confidently. Maybe you’ve heard all of them. Maybe about the same dataset (but in that case, hopefully not from the same person). So who really owns research data? Well, the short answer is “it depends.”

A longer answer is that determining ownership (and whether there’s even anything to own) can be frustratingly complicated — and, even when obvious, ownership only determines some of what can be done with data. Other things like policies, contracts, and laws may dictate certain terms in circumstances where ownership isn’t relevant — or even augment or overrule an owner where it is. To avoid an unpleasant surprise about what you can or can’t do with your data, you’ll want to plan ahead and think beyond the simple question of ownership. (more…)

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UC Davis and CDL assess APC-funded open access business models

The Pay It Forward project was conducted during 2015 and the first half of 2016 under the leadership of UC Davis and the California Digital Library. This post by Mathew Willmott and Ivy Anderson, two of the CDL principals on the project, discusses the driving forces behind this effort, the research goals pursued, and the major results produced from the work.

PIF Logos

Open access to the journal literature is a long-cherished goal of many authors, academic institutions, and other stakeholders in the scholarly communication system; how to reach that goal in an economically sustainable way is a central question that continues to engage many in our community.  In the U.S., open access policies at the institutional, state, and federal levels have focused on the ‘green road’ to open access, whereas developments in Europe have broadly embraced gold OA approaches along with green.

A move toward universal gold OA has recently begun to attract significant worldwide interest as a result of the Max Planck Society’s OA2020 Initiative and a similar call to action issued by the European Union last May.  However, gold open access, particularly when funded via article processing charges, poses significant financial challenges for research-intensive institutions with high publishing activity.  In Europe, research funder policies are addressing this gap, but comparable mechanisms have not taken hold in other parts of the world.

Is there an economically viable path to broad adoption of APC-based gold OA for those of us in North America? (more…)

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Getting found: Indexing and the independent OA journal

Stack of papers with "Read Me" tagRunning an independent journal is a lot of work, even if you’re just focused on managing the process of moving articles through submission, review, and publication. But publishing an article isn’t the end of the story. Even a great article won’t make an impact unless people read it. And without visibility, even a journal with a terrific editorial board won’t get the kind of submissions it’s looking for.

WestJEM – the Western Journal of Emergency Medicine: Integrating Emergency Care with Population Health – gets ten times the submissions that it got a decade ago. In 2008 it averaged about 2,000 combined article views and downloads per month; by 2015 that number had climbed to 130,000. Without the support of a large publisher, and charging a modest $400 article processing fee, the journal’s resources are limited. So what’s the secret to its success? Well, it doesn’t hurt to fill a need in an active and growing field – or to have a hard-working board of editors thinking about savvy strategies to build connections with professional organizations and academic departments. But one crucial piece that cannot be overlooked, according to Mark Langdorf, Editor-in-Chief and UC Irvine Professor of Clinical Emergency Medicine, is getting indexed – and finding the right resources to help make that happen. (more…)

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A social networking site is not an open access repository

“What’s the difference between ResearchGate, Academia.edu, and the institutional repository?”

“I put my papers in ResearchGate, is that enough for the open access policy?

These and similar questions have been been common at open access events over the past couple of years. Authors want to better understand the differences between these platforms and when they should use one, the other, or some combination.

First, a brief primer on what each service has to offer:
(more…)

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