Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Copyright - Special feature in Chronicle of Higher Ed

In the May 29th issue of the Chronicle of Higher Ed there is a special feature on "The Copyright Rebellion."  Recent lawsuits against universities for copyright infringement are being closely followed by those of us in academic institutions.  Two weeks ago, Kevin Smith posted an item about the Georgia case on his blog, Scholarly Communication @Duke  and pointed out some of the dire consequences of a potential injunction. The University of California case dealing with streaming videos is also being closely followed. Both cases have implications for interpretations of what is considered "fair use."  The articles in the Chronicle are worth reading :

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Liberal arts colleges and their response to the changes in scholarly communication

Bryan Alexander, Senior Fellow at NITLE (National Institute for Technology in the Liberal Arts) has published a white paper entitled, "The New (IN)Visible College: Emergent Scholarly Communication Environment and the Liberal Arts" (http://www.nitle.org/live/files/34-the-new-invisible-college).  His paper provides an overview of the  scholarly communication crisis and the change that is underway, but more importantly provides a list of 13 recommendations for actions liberal arts colleges could take.  The list includes:
  • "Explore open access only by full-campus discussion"
  • "Exploit the campus repository"
  • "Understand and value peer-reviewed, born digital scholarship"
  • "Teach the crisis"
While we have not had a "full-campus discussion" on open access, we have "taught" the crisis both in classes and in conversations with faculty in the science division and social sciences.

One of Bryan's points is the need to expand open access publishing beyond the sciences.  We have been publishing student peer-reviewed journals for several years, and last week we launched a new student peer-reviewed publication in American Studies.  Tapestries, which was produced as part of a team-taught class, Engaging the Public.  The class is taught by Dean Jane Rhodes and me and was a wonderful experience working with students to produce an open access journal. 

Bryan's publication is noteworthy for focusing on liberal arts colleges.  Too often, publications on academic library publishing efforts focus on larger research institutions, but there are many colleges that are publishing and providing access to research produced by their students and faculty.  The lengthy list of liberal arts campuses that are engaged in providing open access to their publications is a good indicator of how providing access to our intellectual is becoming a key component of the work we do.