Open Access Week @ GC: Authors’ Rights Workshop, 10/21

OAWeekEdit 580

Graphic is adapted from this image, © Dimitar Poposki, used under a Creative Commons Attribution license.

Next week (October 20-26, 2014) is Open Access Week, an annual global event promoting open access as a new norm in scholarship and research. At the Graduate Center, we’re celebrating Open Access Week with a workshop about understanding and preserving your rights as an author:

You Know What You Write, But Do You Know Your Rights?
Understanding and Protecting Your Rights As an Author
Tuesday, October 21st, 1-2pm
Graduate Center Library, Room C196.05 (concourse level inside library)

When you publish a journal article, you sign a copyright agreement. Do you know what you’re agreeing to when you sign it? Different journals have different policies:

  • Some journals require you to relinquish your copyright. (You then have to ask permission or even pay to share your article with students and colleagues!)
  • Some journals allow you to retain some rights (e.g., the right to post online).
  • Some journals leave copyright in your hands. (You simply give the journal a non-exclusive license to publish the article.)

How can you find out a journal’s policy? How can you negotiate your contract to make the most of your rights as a scholar, researcher, and author? Come learn how to preserve your rights to reproduce, distribute, and display the work you create.

Led by Jill Cirasella, Associate Librarian for Public Services and Scholarly Communication at the Graduate Center. Open to students, faculty, staff, and anyone from the CUNY community who has questions about their rights as authors, open access publishing, or scholarly communication.

Eventbrite - Introduction to Author's Rights

Can’t make it? Want a preview of what’s covered? See the materials from the previous authors’ rights event.

 

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Open Access Week 2014 Screening of “The Internet’s Own Boy”

In honor of Open Access Week, the LACUNY Scholarly Communications Roundtable invites you to a screening and discussion of The Internet’s Own Boy.

Friday, October 24, 2014
3-5pm
Borough of Manhattan Community College, Rm N780
Snacks will be served. RSVP not required

This documentary examines the life and contribution of internet and information activist Aaron Swartz. Swartz penned the Guerrilla Open Access Manifesto in 2008, two years after he freed the Library of Congress’s bibliographic data by posting it on OpenLibrary (LoC charges for access to this data) and the same year he liberated public court documents from expensive fee-based access through PACER (there are now Chrome and Firefox plugins called RECAP that provide a means for free downloading from the database). Come honor the life of Swartz and discuss ways that his work might be built upon and continued by those of us in the library and higher education communities.

For more information, please contact the co-chairs of the LACUNY Scholarly Communications Roundtable: Jean Amaral (jamaral@bmcc.cuny.edu) and Karen Okamoto (kokamoto@jjay.cuny.edu).

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Archive-It: Graduate Work in Digital Amber

(Déjà vu? This post by Stephen Klein and Polly Thistlethwaite originally appeared on the Graduate Center Library blog.)

Photo is © James St. John, used under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license. http://bit.ly/1vHsc8K

Photo is © James St. John, used under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license.

An increasing number of dissertations and theses at the Graduate Center include born-digital components framing evidence, commentary, and analysis. How do we document and preserve these components, and, maybe someday, even entire graduate works, in digital format?

The Graduate Center Library, the department in charge of CUNY’s dissertation preservation and distribution, has a special contract with Archive-It, a part of the Internet Archive, and cousin to the Wayback MachineWith Archive-It, we take a snapshot of the digital components – websites, files, data, source code – that accompany a thesis published with the GC Library, preserving all elements of the work in digital amber at that meaningful point in time. Eventually, the Internet Archive’s crawlers might get around to capturing the work, if it is not buried too deeply. But the Archive-It subscription allows library staff to direct crawlers’ in-depth attention to capture the work, at a point we determine, and to preserve this record in perpetuity.

Archive-It Amber @ CUNY

Jonathan Maxwell’s MALS project, a visually vibrant web site, was nicely captured by Archive-It. Jonathan’s site functions exactly as  like the ‘live’ site, with the exception of the banner indicating that “you are viewing an archived web page.”

Jonathan Maxwell’s captured and preserved website.

Jonathan Maxwell’s captured and preserved website.

The library also captured David Smey’s supporting files at the day of his dissertation submission. David, a Music graduate,  “illustrated” his dissertation with audio and video examples.

Gregory Donovan, a 2013 Psychology graduate, built a participatory social network to collect and analyze data collected for his dissertation. Internet Archive is not (yet) able to capture Gregory’s site’s full functionality — links to the timeline and the Soundcloud recording don’t work. But now that we can be in conversation with the Internet Archive folks, they are investigating these limitations. We believe web archiving capabilities will improve in the near future.

Prof. Steve Brier, the Graduate Center’s Senior Academic Technology Officer and co-founder of the New Media Lab, supports GC students in combining digital work with academic research. He works with students employing a range of technologies — data visualization, digital audio and video, software development, web-based curating and display, and data mining. Contact Prof. Brier to discuss ideas for digital dissertation components. We all look forward to supporting more file varieties and combinations!

If you have a digital component to your thesis or dissertation, and your deposit date is approaching, the GC Library’s  Dissertations & Theses deposit guide will direct you to this new form to start the Digital Amber flowing.

Photo is © Chris Monk, used under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license.  http://bit.ly/ZqdmcD

Photo is © Chris Monk, used under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license.

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Attention, CUNY Faculty: Get Paid to Learn about Open Educational Resources (OER)!

CUNY’s Office of Library Services just announced an exciting (and paid!) opportunity for full-time and part-time faculty to learn about open educational resources (OER), which include open access textbooks and other freely available, online instructional materials:

CUNY’s Office of Library Services is sponsoring an online workshop designed to provide an overview of Open Education Resources (OER) for CUNY faculty looking to integrate OER into their classes.

Open content and open access textbooks are instructional resources that can be used, reused, often remixed and customized under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others while ensuring authors retain copyright to their work. (Read more here.)

OER present an alternative to the high cost of textbooks for students. OER are freely available and distributable course materials. For this workshop the focus will be on OER materials that are:

  • Available at no cost to faculty and to students
  • Can be modified by faculty
  • Can be redistributed by faculty with changes to the original OER work.

Faculty can choose pre-existing materials, just as they do with traditional textbooks, but they can reconfigure content as they see fit, pulling elements of one text into elements of a different one, even rewriting sections, if the faculty member wishes.

OER are not just textbook material. They can include anything from entire course shells, to syllabi, to assignments, to presentations.

For students, OER means less money spent on course materials and course materials that are specifically tailored to the work of their professor. Instead of forcing a textbook into a pedagogical structure, the textbook and course materials are driven by individual pedagogy.

This class is made up of four modules, plus a final project. Each module is made up of readings, videos and discussions. Each workshop section will be comprised of no more than 20 participants in order to foster in intimate forum to share OER work and get feedback from colleagues and the facilitator. The goal is to finish the workshop with a better understanding of OER and also to come away with some work that can be immediately integrated into classes.

The workshops will be entirely on line and last for a two week period requiring approximately 10 hours of work. The activities and assignments can be completed on a flexible schedule during the time period. To be eligible for this workshop, applicants must be teaching faculty scheduled to teach in the spring 2015 semester. Department chair and Chief Academic Officer sign-off will be required. Faculty successfully completing the workshop will receive compensation of 10 hours at the non-teaching adjunct rate for participation.

Click here for registration.

Questions? Please contact: Ann Fiddler at Ann.Fiddler@cuny.edu or 646-664-8060.

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Dissertation Dilemma: To Embargo or Not to Embargo?

(Déjà vu? This post is a very slight reworking of a post by Shawn(ta) Smith-Cruz that appeared yesterday on the Graduate Center Library blog.)

fork in road

Photo is © Daniel Oines, used under a
Creative Commons Attribution license.

Now that the first batch of dissertations is available in Graduate Center Academic Works, the Graduate Center’s new open access institutional repository, students and faculty are once again wondering whether it’s better to make dissertations open access immediately or embargo them (keep them private, unavailable to readers and researchers) for a year or two or more.

The GC Library takes this issue seriously — in fact, so seriously that last spring we co-hosted “Share It Now or Save It For Later: Making Choices about Dissertations and Publishing,” an event that tackled the question of whether making a dissertation open access affects the author’s ability to publish the work as a book. For background information and relevant readings, see the handout distributed at the event.

Below are highlights from the speakers’ remarks:

Jill Cirasella (Associate Librarian for Public Services and Scholarly Communications at the Graduate Center) introduced the moderator and co-sponsors.

 

Polly Thistlethwaite (Chief Librarian of the Graduate Center and moderator of the event) provided some context for the conversation, discussing student anxieties about releasing dissertations and announcing the arrival of the GC’s institutional repository.

 

Kathleen Fitzpatrick (Director of Scholarly Communication, Modern Language Association) discussed the difficulty of deciding what to do with a dissertation at “a moment of peak anxiety” but argued that “the thing that’s deposited might get somebody started being interested in the question that you’re working on, but it doesn’t detract from the desirability of that final, really polished well-thought-through project [i.e., a book based on the dissertation].”

 

Philip Leventhal (Editor for Literary Studies, Journalism, and U.S. History, Columbia University Press) discussed the economics of publishing authors’ first books and analyzed the differences between a dissertation and a first book. He described what he looks for in proposals for first books and concurred with Kathleen that a dissertation-based book is a “different entity” from the dissertation itself. Students and advisers will likely be comforted by his statement that “[i]n my time at Columbia, it’s never come up that we’ve decided not to publish a book because it was available online.”

 

Jerome Singerman (Senior Humanities Editor, University of Pennsylvania Press) sided with the embargo. He reminded the audience that university presses are subject to market forces, summarized historical changes in library purchasing patterns, and argued that the market for a dissertation-based book is smaller if the dissertation is available open access. He also discussed the role of approval plans in library book acquisitions. (For a contrasting picture of how dissertations factor into approval plans, see the reprinted message from Michael Zeoli from YBP, aka Yankee Book Peddler.)

 

Gregory Donovan (Assistant Professor, Sociology and Urban Studies, Saint Peter’s University [now Assistant Professor of Communication and Media Studies at Fordham University] and Graduate Center alumnus) discussed why and how he made his dissertation open access. He began with a reminder that a graduate’s first goal is getting a job, which requires getting your name and your work known — which is facilitated by making your work open access. (Please note that the Graduate Center has deactivated the ProQuest paid open access option that Gregory referred to. Students now make their dissertation open access simply by choosing not to embargo it in Academic Works.)

 

Colleen Eren (Assistant Professor, Criminal Justice, LaGuardia Community College and Graduate Center alumna) reported that the fact that she embargoed her dissertation did not, in the end, affect the interest of publishers in her work. Her closing line summarized the view of most of the panel: “[t]he lesson of my experience is that perhaps embargoing is not as big a deal as it’s being blown up to be because the final product that you’re going to negotiate with the editor is going to be so vastly different that it perhaps won’t make that much of a difference.”

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They’re Here! Dissertations & Theses Now in Academic Works

(Déjà vu? This post is a very slight reworking of a post I wrote yesterday for the Graduate Center Library blog.)

sellie cover

Title page for the thesis of Alycia Sellie (GC librarian and OA@CUNY blogger). Academic Works auto-generates title pages for all PDFs in the repository.

They’re here! All Graduate Center dissertations and theses from 2014 (thus far) are now in Graduate Center Academic Works, the Graduate Center’s new open access institutional repository. (Institutional repositories for the other CUNY campuses are coming soon!)

Some of the dissertations and theses are open access (i.e., freely available) now, and the others will become open access at the end of the author’s chosen embargo period (generally six months, one year, or two years).

Browse this incredible batch of intellectual output by department or en masse. Or scan a few of these works (all of them already open access), which I’ve cherry-picked for having especially engaging, curiosity-sparking titles:

The dissertations and theses of October graduates will appear in Academic Works soon. And moving forward, all theses and dissertations will appear shortly after each graduation.

Added benefit of going open access: If a thesis or dissertation (or any other work) is open access in Academic Works, the author will receive monthly readership reports detailing how often the work has been downloaded, what search terms led readers to the work, etc. (And I’ve already heard from 2014 graduates who are surprised and delighted by how much their dissertation or thesis has been downloaded!) So, not only does going open access help you find a broader audience and make a greater impact — it also helps you see and track that impact!

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Scholarly Communications Librarian @ CUNY: More Time to Apply!

Application Deadline Extended: There’s still time to apply to be CUNY’s first Scholarly Communications Librarian! The deadline is now Monday, July 28, 2014.

Summary of Posting:

The City University of New York (CUNY) seeks a Scholarly Communications Librarian to provide leadership for scholarly communication and digitization initiatives. The Scholarly Communications Librarian will be responsible for developing and managing CUNY’s new Digital Commons institutional repository of scholarly and creative works, publications, and digital objects by members of the CUNY community.

The Scholarly Communications Librarian will be hired at the Higher Education Associate rank and work for CUNY’s central Office of Library Services (OLS), not a specific campus. S/he will report to the University Director of Library Systems.

The Scholarly Communications Librarian will:

  • Organize, oversee, and assess the processes (e.g., faculty outreach, copyright compliance) related to the repository’s maintenance and development.
  • Collaborate with the vendor and CUNY-wide libraries to create, develop, and optimize publishing/ingest workflows.
  • Establish/codify best practices in repository management, including reporting and optimizing metadata management.
  • Establish communication procedures and platforms for campuses to use to work with contributing authors (faculty, staff, students, alumni).
  • Lead education and outreach to faculty and provide guidance to library colleagues and others on issues relevant to the dynamic scholarly publishing landscape, including author rights, open access (OA) publishing, and alternative publishing trends related to tenure and promotion.
  • Serve as OLS’s primary resource on copyright compliance, fair use, and other copyright issues pertinent to CUNY library collections and services.
  • Provide supervision for planning and implementing digitization projects in alignment with the library’s mission and strategic goals.
  • Collaborate with liaison librarians to provide tools and educational opportunities in the adoption of best practices in scholarly communication relevant to CUNY’s academic mission.

This position is represented by the Professional Staff Congress (PSC-CUNY) and covered by its contract. For more information, see http://psc-cuny.org/our-contracts.

Full Job Posting / How to Apply:

For the full job description, including minimum and preferred qualifications, application instructions, and a link to begin an application, visit http://tinyurl.com/CUNYScholComm

(The full address for the link is: https://home.cunyfirst.cuny.edu/psp/cnyepprd/
GUEST/HRMS/c/HRS_HRAM.HRS_CE.GBL?Page=HRS_CE_JOB_DTL&Action=A&
JobOpeningId=10829&SiteId=1&PostingSeq=1. Alternatively, go to http://www.cuny.edu, click “Employment” then “Search Job Postings” and then “More Options to Search For CUNY Jobs,” and search for Job Opening ID 10829.)

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Come Work with Us! Scholarly Communications Librarian @ CUNY

Big news for open access supporters and excellent librarians eager for a new adventure: CUNY is hiring a Scholarly Communications Librarian!

CUNY is the largest urban public university in the United States, and its faculty, staff, and students produce extraordinary (in quantity and quality) scholarly, creative, and educational works. We need you to help us make those works open access! (Curious about the open access efforts and scholarly communication projects already underway at CUNY? Prowl around this blog, the Open Educational Resources @ CUNY blog, and the Just Publics @ 365 blog.)

The Scholarly Communications Librarian won’t work for a specific CUNY campus but rather for the central Office of Library Services, which supports all CUNY libraries. The person who gets this job will be responsible for developing and managing CUNY’s new open access institutional repository and leading related educational/outreach efforts.

We hope you’ll consider applying for this new and exciting position. But don’t mull it over too long — the closing date is June 28!

The full posting is below.  (Note: The language under “General Duties” is standardized for all University Library Systems Manager positions. Look under “Campus Specific Information” for the details specific to this position.)

Job Title: Scholarly Communications Librarian (University Library Systems Manager)
Job ID: 10829
Location: Central Office
Full/Part Time: Full-Time
Regular/Temporary: Regular
Contract Title: Higher Education Associate
FLSA Exempt

GENERAL DUTIES

Manages one or more aspects of the University’s Library technology and systems.

  • Analyzes, specifies, and implements systems improvements and processes
  • Conducts design and setup activities supporting University-wide Library systems and databases; assists in implementing upgrades and new systems
  • Develops and manages procedures related to quality assurance for University Library systems; revises and maintains complex configuration tables
  • Monitors Library applications and databases
  • Creates, prepares, and analyzes reports on systems activities
  • Works collaboratively with the Office of Library Services, Computer Information Services, library staffs, and vendors to refine workflows and develop useful systems tools
  • Performs related duties as assigned

CAMPUS SPECIFIC INFORMATION

The Office of Library Services (OLS) at the Central Administrative Office of CUNY supports the libraries at the University’s 24 campuses to coordinate and enhance library services for students and faculty in partnership with campus librarians. The Office provides the CUNY+ online catalog, negotiates University-wide contracts and licenses, provides central cataloging services, and subsidizes the CUNY Digital Library Collection and resource sharing. The Office seeks a Scholarly Communications Librarian to provide leadership for scholarly communication and digitization initiatives at CUNY. Scholarly communication is a strategic priority for CUNY.

The position reports to the University Director of Library Systems and is responsible for managing and developing the newly instituted Digital Commons institutional repository (a cloud-based solution from bepress) of scholarly and creative works, publications, and digital objects by members of the CUNY community. The librarian will organize, oversee, and assess the processes (e.g., faculty outreach, copyright compliance) related to the repository’s maintenance and development. S/he will collaborate with the vendor and CUNY-wide libraries to create, develop, and optimize publishing/ingest workflows, establish/codify best practices in repository management including reporting and optimizing metadata management related to the CUNY’s nascent repository. The Scholarly Communications Librarian establishes communication procedures and platforms for campuses to use to work with contributing authors (faculty, staff, students, alumni). The librarian leads education and outreach to faculty and provides guidance to library colleagues and others on issues relevant to the dynamic scholarly publishing landscape, including author rights, open access (OA) publishing, and alternative publishing trends related to tenure and promotion. The position also serves as the Office of Library Services’ primary resource on copyright compliance, fair use, and other copyright issues pertinent to CUNY library collections and services. Provides supervision for planning and implementing digitization projects in alignment with the library’s mission and strategic goals. Collaborates with liaison librarians to provide tools and educational opportunities in the adoption of best practices in scholarly communication relevant to CUNY’s academic mission.

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS

Bachelor’s Degree and six years’ related experience required; MLS degree and/or Master’s in a related field may be substituted for a portion of the experience requirement.

OTHER QUALIFICATIONS

The ideal candidate will have the following skills, knowledge, and abilities:

  • Master’s degree from an American Library Association (ALA)-accredited school is strongly preferred and may be accepted for up to two years of the required six years of experience
  • Three years’ experience managing library information services, systems, and/or programs required
  • Working knowledge of digitization standards and formats, rights management and academic publishing practices, including familiarity with one or more major descriptive metadata standards (Dublin Core, EAD, METS, MIX, MODS, PREMIS, or others); demonstrated project management skills to plan, implement, and assess digital initiative
  • Demonstrated understanding of the width and breadth of information and information-seeking processes to structure and deliver library services for users; ability to apply requirements, best practices, and guidelines for scholarly communication relevant to CUNY Libraries’ digital initiatives and processes
  • Marketing and outreach skills to discover and recruit institutional scholarly input, research data, and other content for inclusion in the institutional repository; ability to participate in grant and other external funding opportunities in support of the library’s mission and strategic goals
  • Ability to communicate scholarly communication issues in a balanced way that can be adjusted to a wide range of audiences across the disciplines and work collaboratively and effectively with diverse groups
  • Detail oriented and accurate with strong organizational skills to establish plans, manage multiple assignments and conflicting priorities, and meet deadlines
  • Excellent verbal/written communication and interpersonal skills with strong consultation, presentation, and group facilitation skills
  • Proficiency using academic, administrative, and financial computer programs, systems, and databases

COMPENSATION

Commensurate with qualifications and experience.

BENEFITS

CUNY offers a comprehensive benefits package to employees and eligible dependents based on job title and classification. Employees are also offered pension and Tax-Deferred Savings Plans. Part-time employees must meet a weekly or semester work hour criteria to be eligible for health benefits. Health benefits are also extended to retirees who meet the eligibility criteria.

HOW TO APPLY

For full consideration, submit a position focused cover letter and résumé with your online application. Your cover letter should clearly explain how your experience and credentials fulfill the duties and qualifications outlined. The direct link to the job opening from external sources is: http://tinyurl.com/CUNYScholComm

(The full address for the direct link is: https://home.cunyfirst.cuny.edu/psp/cnyepprd/
GUEST/HRMS/c/HRS_HRAM.HRS_CE.GBL?Page=HRS_CE_JOB_DTL&Action=A&
JobOpeningId=10829&SiteId=1&PostingSeq=1)

CLOSING DATE

6/28/2014

JOB SEARCH CATEGORY

CUNY Job Posting: Managerial/Professional

EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY

We are committed to enhancing our diverse academic community by actively encouraging people with disabilities, minorities, veterans, and women to apply. We take pride in our pluralistic community and continue to seek excellence through diversity and inclusion. EO/AA Employer.

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Whose to Use? And Use As They Choose?

Authors of traditional textbooks and articles published in traditional scholarly journals generally have to sign over their copyright to the publisher. Not so for authors who publish with open access publishers — they retain the right to copy, distribute, and re-use their works. (Unimpressed by those seemingly basic rights? Remember that when authors transfer their copyright to publishers, they sometimes lose all rights to their work. After the transfer, they sometimes have no more rights to their work than you or I do.)

Of course, if all rights to a work were held only by the author, others could not copy, share, or reuse the work. In other words, by definition, it couldn’t be truly open access. So, we want authors to retain their rights, but we also need them to grant some rights to others. And not just specific other people or companies — to everyone, to all potential users.

And that’s why the open access community loves Creative Commons (CC) licenses: They leave copyright with the creator but also grant some rights to others. Creative Commons licenses are not the only way to grant rights to a work, but they make it easy for creators to communicate which rights they do and don’t give to others, and they’ve emerged as the standard licensing tool for open access materials.

Spectrum between traditional copyright and public domainThere are six Creative Commons licenses on the spectrum between traditional copyright and the public domain. They differ in their requirements regarding commercial uses and derivative works, and there are fascinating things to say about all of them. But I’m going to limit this post to two similar licenses that differ in one important respect: CC BY (Attribution) and CC BY-SA (Attribution-ShareAlike):

  • The CC BY license says that people can do whatever they want with the work — copy it, print it, distribute it, expand it, remix it, post it on commercial websites, even sell it — provided that the creator is properly attributed.
  • The CC BY-SA license is very similar but differs in one key way: It says that people can do whatever they want with the work provided that (1) the creator is properly attributed and (2) any resulting works are released with the same license. Because CC BY-SA requires that derivative works are also CC BY-SA, it is a “viral” license.

Which is better, CC BY or CC BY-SA? Major players in the open access arena have strong and opposing opinions.

Wikipedia uses CC BY-SA, explaining that [bold is mine]:

To grow the commons of free knowledge and free culture, all users contributing to the Projects are required to grant broad permissions to the general public to re-distribute and re-use their contributions freely, so long as that use is properly attributed and the same freedom to re-use and re-distribute is granted to any derivative works. In keeping with our goal of providing free information to the widest possible audience, we require that when necessary all submitted content be licensed so that it is freely reusable by anyone who cares to access it.

The Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA), on the other hand, endorses CC BY, going so far as to disallow CC BY-SA among its members [bold mine]:

To fully realise that potential of open access to research literature, barriers to reuse need to be removed. . . .

The most liberal Creative Commons license is CC-BY, which allows for unrestricted reuse of content, subject only to the requirement that the source work is appropriately attributed. Other Creative Commons licenses allow for three possible restrictions to be imposed. . . . But the emerging consensus on the adoption of CC-BY reflects the fact that any of these restrictions needlessly limits the possible reuse of published research.

. . . while [Share-Alike] licenses can be extremely helpful in building up a collection of content, they also have downsides in terms of the limitations they place on reuse. For example, material distributed within a Share-Alike article could only be combined and redistributed with other share-alike content. In contrast, CC-BY content can be combined with any content, and redistributed according to the terms of that other content, as long as CC-BY’s own attribution requirement is respected. This makes CC-BY something like a Universal Donor blood-type in that it has maximal compatibility.

. . . OASPA includes, and will currently still admit, members who use the NC restriction (but not the SA or ND restrictions).

Let’s take a closer look at the question of which license is better:

  • Which is better for readers? For those who just read/consume a work (and those who download, print, and share it), there’s no difference between the two licenses.
  • Which is better for those who want to reuse/remix a work? It depends. CC BY is less restrictive, making reuse easier. But CC BY-SA ensures the openness and reusability of derivative works, and that stipulation arguably leads to reuses/remixes that are inherently better than if they weren’t open.
  • Which is better for authors? It depends on the author’s priorities. CC BY facilitates reuse and broad impact, but some creators of open works want works derived from their works to be open as well.
  • Which is better for openness? As we saw in the arguments from Wikipedia and OASPA, It depends on how you look at it. CC BY makes a given work more open, more reusable. But CC BY-SA fosters openness and builds the universe of open access materials. However, the share-alike stipulation might deter some potential reusers and prevent some reuses from ever happening. How should we think about a license that promotes openness in derivative works but likely prevents some derivative works from ever being made? It’s hard to say!
  • Which do I personally think is better? Philosophically, I’m with Wikipedia and CC BY-SA. I love the idea of a snowball effect of openness. But in practice, I think OASPA has it right: For open access works to have the most impact and do the most good, we need to minimize barriers to reuse. And, when it comes down to it, I’m a practical person. So I (with somewhat conflicted feelings) side with CC BY.
  • But you certainly don’t have to take my word for it! My smart and thoughtful colleague Alycia Sellie is somewhat more drawn to CC BY-SA. See her grapple with CC BY vs. CC BY-SA in a post from last summer.

One last note: Yes, I prefer some CC licenses to others. But I embrace all of them as improvements on traditional copyright for scholarly communication and educational publishing!

(This post was derived from a presentation I gave at WikiConference USA on May 31: Whose to Use? And Use As They Choose? Creative Commons Licenses in Wikipedia and Scholarly Publishing. A slightly different version of this post also appeared on the Open Educational Resources @ CUNY blog.)

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“For the Public Good”: A Public Institution and Its New Open Access Repository

The Chronicle of Higher Education recently ran a column by Graduate Center Interim President Chase Robinson about the Graduate Center’s recent string of high-profile hires and overall success recruiting prominent and innovative faculty. One reason the Graduate Center is so appealing to potential hires, he says, is its “public character”:

“Hire after hire has responded to the mission that the Graduate Center volubly affirms: to create and disseminate knowledge, through research, teaching, and public events, for the public good.”

Knowledge that is created and disseminated for the public good of course does more good when it reaches more people. How can the Graduate Center make sure its research, teaching, and public events reach as broad a public as possible? The answer should be obvious to all regular readers of this blog: by making its research output, instructional materials, and public programming freely available online whenever possible!  

In other words, the Graduate Center can help its community fulfill its mission by promoting open access both in theory and in practice.

How can the GC do these two things? It can do the first by promoting conversation about scholarly communications and open access (which it does in many ways, including employing a scholarly communications librarian (that’s me!) and supporting JustPublics@365). And it can do the second by giving its faculty, staff, and students a place to easily and quickly make their works open access. And that brings me to…

Drumroll, please!

The Graduate Center Library invites you to take a sneak peek at the Graduate Center’s brand new open access repository, Academic Works:

Snapshot of Graduate Center Academic Works

The Graduate Center’s new open access institutional repository: Academic Works

So far, Academic Works includes only a small handful of publications, but soon it will be teeming with articles, book chapters, conference papers, dissertations, master’s theses, and other scholarly and creative works by Graduate Center faculty, students, and staff. (Look for the dissertations and theses of February 2014 graduates to appear soon!) Curious what a thriving open access institutional repository looks like? Prowl around UMass Amherst’s ScholarWorks, University of California’s eScholarship, or Digital Commons @ University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

To clarify a commonly confused point: Only the GC community will be able to upload works to GC’s Academic Works. But everyone everywhere will be able to access and download them (those that aren’t embargoed, anyway).

We’re still finalizing the site and instructions, but if you’re a Graduate Center faculty member, you’re welcome to start submitting your scholarly and creative works to the repository! (We’re doing a phased launch, and for self-submissions we’re starting with faculty only. But it will be ready to accept GC student self-submissions in the near future. Dissertations and theses will go into the repository in batches after graduation, not via self-submission.) Contact Jill Cirasella, Associate Librarian for Public Services and Scholarly Communication, to learn more.

To the broader CUNY community: The rest of CUNY will be launching an institutional repository in the near future. So if you’re at CUNY but not affiliated with the Graduate Center, you’ll have a repository of your own soon!

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