Opening up the Library: Transforming our Policies, Practices and Structures

Authors : Joanna Ball, Graham Stone, Sarah Thompson

Momentum is building in the transition to open access for monographs, with a number of funders developing policies and mandates in recent years.

The article argues that while libraries play an instrumental role in driving a transition to open science within their institutions this is not reflected in libraries’ approaches to collection development, which are still predicated on purchased content.

Libraries are keen to demonstrate that their purchased content is relevant to users, often promoting ‘expensive’ purchased collections over open content. Rather than relegating open to a less-visible second place, the article calls for libraries to acquire and promote open content alongside, and where appropriate with higher priority, than paid-for content.

In order to facilitate a transition to open access for monographs, cultural change and leadership is required within libraries to reimagine themselves around open content as the norm, with policies, practices and structures that communicate, enable and promote this shift. The article calls for a collaborative international approach.

URL : Opening up the Library: Transforming our Policies, Practices and Structures

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Patrimoine numérisé et Open Content : quelle place pour le domaine public dans les bibliothèques numériques patrimoniales ?

Auteur/Author : Laura Le Coz

Le mouvement d’ouverture des données dans lequel la France s’engage depuis 2011 témoigne d’une prise de conscience par les acteurs publics des enjeux de la réutilisation des données. Pourtant, les institutions culturelles sont longtemps restées a la traine de ce mouvement.

En ce qui concerne spécifiquement les reproductions numérisées d’oeuvres du domaine public, beaucoup d’institutions continuent de les soumettre a des conditions de réutilisation contraignantes,comme la loi les y autorise, du fait de l’assimilation de ces fichiers numériques a des données publiques.

Étant donné le caractère très hétérogène et souvent peu lisible des politiques de réutilisation a travers le paysage des institutions culturelles, ce mémoire vise d’abord a faire un état des lieux des pratiques des bibliothèques numériques patrimoniales, ainsi qu’un examen des raisons qu’elles font valoir en faveur des diverses politiques de réutilisation.

Il s’agira également d’éclaircir la situation juridique des bibliothèques numériques en analysant les nombreuses bases légales,plus ou moins solides, sur lesquelles elles s’appuient.

Puisque cette situation juridique a elle-même connu des évolutions récentes, il convient enfin de mettre en lumière les dynamiques de changement à l’œuvre, ainsi que les prises de position suscitées de divers côtés par la question du domaine public numérisé.

URL : Patrimoine numérisé et Open Content : quelle place pour le domaine public dans les bibliothèques numériques patrimoniales ?

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Better Sharing Through Licenses? Measuring the Influence of Creative Commons Licenses on the Usage of Open Access Monographs


Introduction :  Open Access and licenses are closely intertwined. Both Creative Commons (CC) and Open Access seek to restore the balance between the owners of creative works and prospective users. Apart from the legal issues around CC licenses, we could look at role of intermediaries whose work is enabled through CC licenses. Does licensing documents under Creative Commons increase access and reuse in a direct way, or is access and reuse amplified by intermediaries?

OAPEN Library and DOAB The OAPEN Library contains books available under both open licenses, for example Creative Commons, as well as books that are published under terms that only allow for personal use. The Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB) functions as an intermediary, offering aggregation services exclusively focused on books with an open license.

Methods: Downloads are used as a proxy for the use of books in the OAPEN Library. The data set that this paper analyses data that was captured over a period of 33 months. During this time, 1734 different books were made available through the OAPEN Library: 855 books under a Creative Commons license and 879 books under a more restrictive regime. The influence of open licenses, aggregation in DOAB, and subject and language are evaluated.

Results :  Once the effects of subject and language are taken into account, there is no evidence that making books available under open licenses results in more downloads than making books available under licenses that only allow for personal use. Yet, additional aggregation in the DOAB has a large positive effect on the number of times a book is downloaded.

Conclusion : The application of open licenses to books does not, on its own, lead to more downloads. However, open licenses pave the way for intermediaries to offer new discovery and aggregation services. These services play an important role by amplifying the impacts of open access licensing in the case of scholarly books.”

URL : Better Sharing Through Licenses? Measuring the Influence of Creative Commons Licenses on the Usage of Open Access Monographs


Repositioning academic repositories for better management through open…


Repositioning academic repositories for better management through open access :

“This is a literature-based opinion paper which examines how digital technology through Open Access has changed the way knowledge that was hitherto hard to find and expensive is finding its way into university electronic repositories and bridging the distance between searching and retrieval. The paper examines opportunities available to scholars, researchers and institutions of higher learning through Open Access and Open Content using electronic repositories. In a number of African academic institutions of higher learning, starting and maintaining journals is becoming the order of the day. Once launched, these journals provide ready material for Open Access through repositories.

Due to the prohibitive price of books it is difficult to purchase all the available books on certain topics. Therefore Open Access on the internet and in repositories would be a good option since updated materials will be available. Open Access repositories and archives are economically sustainable because they are affordable. Depositing new articles takes a few minutes, and is done by individual authors, not archive managers. Open Access repositories and archives at universities only require server space. This benefits the institutions that host them by enhancing the visibility and impact of the articles, the authors, and the institution.

The paper argues that the current scholarly communication system needs urgent reforms to cope with the rapidly changing technological environment. Open Access and Open Content are free, immediate, and handle multiple users. On the other hand, electronic repositories can be set up

The paper recommends that electronic Open Access institutional repositories are a must have for academic institutions and that researchers, institutions and funders need to be informed and trained on the benefits of using Open Access and Institutional repositories. Through this management of knowledge, scholars worldwide will access and benefit from each other’s findings. This is in line with the universal drive to share knowledge propelled by new technologies.”


The Digital Public Domain: Foundations for an Open Culture

This book brings together essays by academics, librarians, entrepreneurs, activists and policy makers, who were all part of the EU-funded Communia project. Together the authors argue that the Public Domain — that is, the informational works owned by all of us, be that literature, music, the output of scientific research, educational material or public sector information — is fundamental to a healthy society.

The essays range from more theoretical papers on the history of copyright and the Public Domain, to practical examples and case studies of recent projects that have engaged with the principles of Open Access and Creative Commons licensing.

The book is essential reading for anyone interested in the current debate about copyright and the Internet. It opens up discussion and offers practical solutions to the difficult question of the regulation of culture at the digital age.


Creative Commons licenses and the non-commercial condition: Implications for the re-use of biodiversity information

The Creative Commons (CC) licenses are a suite of copyright-based licenses defining terms for the distribution and re-use of creative works. CC provides licenses for different use cases and includes open content licenses such as the Attribution license (CC BY, used by many Open Access scientific publishers) and the Attribution Share Alike license (CC BY-SA, used by Wikipedia, for example). However, the license suite also contains non-free and non-open licenses like those containing a “non-commercial” (NC) condition.

Although many people identify “non-commercial” with “non-profit”, detailed analysis reveals that significant differences exist and that the license may impose some unexpected re-use limitations on works thus licensed. After providing background information on the concepts of Creative Commons licenses in general, this contribution focuses on the NC condition, its advantages, disadvantages and appropriate scope. Specifically, it contributes material towards a risk analysis for potential re-users of NC-licensed works.


doi: 10.3897/zookeys.150.2189

Owning the Right to Open Up Access to…

Owning the Right to Open Up Access to Scientific Publications :

“Whether the researchers themselves, rather than the institution they work for, are at all in a position to implement OA principles actually depends on the initial allocation of rights on their works. Whereas most European Union Member States have legislation that provides that the copyright owner is the natural person who created the work, the copyright laws of a number European countries, including those of the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, establish a presumption, according to which the copyright of works made in the course of employment belongs initially to the employer, which in this case would be the university. In France, a similar presumption applies to works created by employees of the State. Even if researchers are in a position to exercise the rights on their works, they may, nevertheless, be required to transfer these to a publisher in order to get their article or book published. This paper, therefore, analyses the legal position of researchers, research institutions and publishers respectively, and considers what the consequences are for the promotion of OA publishing in light of the principles laid down in the Berlin Declaration and the use of Creative Commons licenses.”