Asking for Permission: A Survey of Copyright Workflows for Institutional Repositories

An online survey of institutional repository (IR) managers identified copyright clearance trends in staffing and workflows. The majority of respondents followed a mediated deposit model, and reported that library personnel, instead of authors, engaged in copyright clearance activities for IRs.

The most common “information gaps” pertained to the breadth of information in copyright directories like SHERPA/RoMEO. To fill these gaps, most respondents directly contacted publishers for permissions.

Respondents typically did not share publisher responses with other IRs, citing barriers such as time, expertise, staffing, and the need for improved methods for sharing data with copyright directories.


Open Data, Open Society. A research project about openness of public data in EU local administration

This report discusses the current and potential role, in a truly open society, of raw Public Sector Information (PSI) that is really open, that is fully accessible and reusable by everybody. The general characteristics of PSI and the conclusions are based on previous studies and on the analysis of
current examples both from the European Union and the rest of the world.

Generation, management and usage of data constituting what is normally called PSI is a very large topic. This report only focuses on some parts of it. First of all, we only look here at really “public” PSI, that is information (from maps to aggregate health data) that is not tied to any single individual and whose publication, therefore, raises no privacy issues.

It is also important to distinguish between actual raw data (basic elements of information like numbers, names, dates, single geographical features like the shape of a lake, addresses…), their results (more or less complex documents, policies, laws…) and the procedures and chains of command followed to generate and use such results, that is to vote or, inside Public Administrations, to take or implement decisions.

So far, discussion and research on Open Data at national level has had relatively more coverage, even if much of the PSI that has the most direct impact on the life of most citizens is the one that is generated, managed and used by local, not central, administrations and end users (citizens, businesses or other organizations). Creation of wealth and jobs can be easier, faster and cheaper to stimulate, especially in times of economic crisis, at the local level. Finally, open access to public data is much more necessary for small businesses that for big corporations, since the latter can afford to pay for access to data anyway (and high prices of data may also protect them from competition from smaller companies).

For all these reasons, the main focus of this report will be on the raw data that constitute “public” PSI as defined above. This is the reason why in this report the terms “raw data” and “PSI” are practically interchangeable. We will also focus on the local dimension of Open PSI, that is raw data
directly produced by, or directly relevant for, local communities (City and Regions), and on their
direct impact on local government and local economy.

Chapters 2 and 3 summarize the importance of data in the modern society and some recent developments on the Open Data front in Europe. Chapter 4 explains why raw PSI should be open, while Chapter 5 shows the potential of such data with a few real world examples from several (mostly EU) countries. Chapter 6 looks at some dangers that should not be ignored when promoting Open Data and Chapter 7 proposes some general practices to follow for getting the most out of them. Some conclusions and the next phases of the project are in Chapter 8.


Open access to scientific knowledge and feudalism knowledge: Is there a connection?

The role of universities and transnational corporations in the circulation of scientific knowledge is considered. If institutions generate, mostly scientific knowledge, trying to facilitate its free circulation, then transnational companies, contrarily, try to remove most significant and cutting-edge scientific knowledge from free circulation and its commercialization and reintroduction into an open, but now commercial, circulation in the TRIPS.

However, paradoxical, the open access movement to scientific knowledge, eventually, facilitates feudalism of knowledge. We call this phenomenon the ‘open access – paradox’. Based on the experiments done with Google Scholar and Google Patents, it is shown that universities generates, mostly scientific knowledge (scientific articles), and transnational companies generates, mostly technological knowledge (patents).


Institutional Repositories: Facilitating Structure, Collaborations, Scholarly Communications, and Institutional Visibility

Digital libraries (in all of their variants) can be great tools to help libraries in providing better and faster services to their users. However it is also the very thing that threatens the survival of the (traditional) libraries.

That is if libraries will not redefine their roles amidst the emergence of these new tools. Digital institutional repositories (IR) – as a species of digital libraries (Lynch, 2003) – is the opportunity that libraries and librarians can seize to redefine their roles and re-assert their influence in their user communities.

Digital libraries are commonly used to manage digital collections that usually generated by vendors (eJournals, eBooks, etc.). Acquisitions, Cataloging, Circulation, and Reference that used to be the domains of librarians are being taken away in digital libraries realm. However there are some functions that vendors and publishers will never take away from libraries, which is the development, management, and use of local content (locally-produced information resources and/or information resources that contain features of local entities).

Every community, especially higher education communities, is rich with local contents with their various formats – often in very unconventional manifestations. Based on experiences gained in developing digital local contents at Desa Infromasi project, it is believed that efforts in identifying, collecting, digitizing, cataloging, and disseminating local content re-affirm the roles of libraries as an entity that establish structure in otherwise chaotic world of myriad information resources.

The efforts will also open up avenues for libraries to assume ‘new’ roles as a facilitator of collaborations among different community of users and scholarly communications across disciplines of knowledge (in the context of higher education institutions).

All these will in the end help promoting institutional visibility. Besides dealing with digitization, libraries will find themselves exploring a whole new world of outreach that will redefine their roles in their institution and society. In short, although the chapter will touch on technical aspects of digital libraries, it will focus on the impacts and influence that libraries can assert to their user communities while they are developing and disseminating digital local content using IR.

Thus digital libraries should not be viewed as an end. Instead they are great tools for libraries to reinvigorate their roles in their user communities. The discussion will use Desa Informasi project as a study case.

The discussion on this chapter is the results of the expansion and ‘conversation’ from several of my previous articles, as follows: 1. “Desa Informasi: Local Content Global Reach” published in the proceeding of the 2005 Annual Seminar of the International Council on Archives – Section on University and Research Institutions Archives (East Lansing, Michigan – U.S.A. – Sep 6-9, 2005) 2. “Desa Informasi: The Role of Digital Libraries in the Preservation and Dissemination of Indigenous Knowledge” published in 2006 by Elsevier in International Information and Library Review, 38(3), pp. 123-131. 3. “Desa Informasi: A Virtual Village of “New” Information Resources and Services” published in 2007 by Emerald in Program: Electronic Library and Information System, 41 (3), pp. 276-290. 4. “Surabaya Memory: Representing Minority Voices in the Digital History of A City.” Published in Archives and Manuscripts – The Journal of the Australian Society of Archivists, 37 (2), pp. 127-137. 5. “Surabaya Memory: Opportunities and Challenges of Open Access e-Heritage Repositories” – in writing process for IFLA Satellite Conference in Chania, Greece – Aug 2010.


Privacy and Intellectual Property on the Web: A Model for LIIs Open Source Publications

We are proposing an Open Access model for Legal Information Institutes (LIIs) publications in three steps: Accredited Public Archival (APA), Comment-Open Publication (COP) and Peer-Reviewed Publication (PRP).

This raises some ethical and legal issues on privacy and intellectual property which cannot be ignored. We would like to foster dialogue and discussion as the unique means to create an interactive framework among research communities, IILs and users.


Bookshare: Making Accessible Materials Available Worldwide

Bookshare is the largest online library of accessible copyrighted materials for readers with print disabilities. In the last three years Bookshare has built a collection of over 30,000 books available throughout the world, serving people in 28 countries that span the globe. Developed and operated by Benetech, a non-profit using technology to serve unmet social needs,

Bookshare International works with local partners to provide content in multiple languages to serve people with print disabilities. Bookshare is particularly focused on addressing the accessible “book famine” in developing countries and applies ongoing
innovation to do so in a sustainable, effective manner.